With the trades of starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and reliever Darren O’Day, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette today pushed down on the last detonator in his effort to blow up and reshape the franchise.
The team sent Gausman and O’Day to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for four prospects: pitcher Evan Phillips, infielder Jean Carlos Encarnacion, catcher Brett Cumberland and pitcher Bruce Zimmerman.
To acquire for Schoop’s services, the Milwaukee Brewers sent over major league infielder Jonathan Villar and two prospects, pitcher Luis Ortiz and infielder Jean Carmona.
Coupled with the deals of shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers, closer Zach Britton to the New York Yankees and reliever Brad Brach to the Braves, the Orioles have injected their minor league system with 14 new players, and drastically reduced payroll in the process.
In the deals for Brach, and Gausman and O’Day, the O’s have received international signing bonus money, and they are reportedly pushing hard to sign the top player on the market, Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa.
While it may be hard to watch all of these guys leave Baltimore, it’s important to remember the Orioles are incredibly awful right now, even with the contributions of all the guys named above. A complete overhaul is the only way to build the next winner.