A case for Baltimore!

Postby Edwards Kings » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:18 am

With the signing of Giancarlo "Who the hell is Mike?" Stanton, the pundits (so many with Big Apples sticking in their...mouths) are the winter meetings away from anointing the NY Yankees 2018 World Series Champs (really, do we even need to play the games?). It is true that the Yankees are a pretty complete team top to bottom if you forget that the rotation is based on Severino (will he repeat 2017 performance?), Tanaka (how long will duct tape hold that arm together) and Gray (a picture of clean health throughout his history), none of whom threw 200 IP last year (yes...only a rare few actually did). Paying for Stanton, still paying for Headley and Ellsbury and Gardner, so the piggy bank may be too broke to upgrade past that Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon animal CC Sabathia. Well, Giardi is gone so all is right with the world. Just go ahead and give them another ring.

So the real fun will be watching the also-rans and has beens of the AL East beg, borrow and steal their ways to playoff berths via the wild card. And speaking of pundits, they are all wondering why Baltimore, who stands to be a big contributor to the 2018 free agent class, doesn’t go ahead and sell the players for all of the prospects that are out there (after the other 10 ten teams who are rebuilding have been there before them).

So I make the case that they should play to win in 2018. They certainly have an offense or at least an offense that will not be offensive. Jones, Machado, Davis, Schoop, Trumbo, and Mancini offer a better middle six than most teams. Beckham has to viewed as an upgrade to Hardy. They are decidedly right handed, and despite the need for a true lead-off batter, maybe a couple of left-handed free agent bats like Avila (at least to hold Sisco’s hand) and Bruce to round out the outfield. I like this offense.

So pitching…hold onto Britton. Closer done. Starting pitching…the real question as to whether they can cobble enough arms to challenge. Baltimore payroll will be dinged by arbitration babies, but there may be some room. The base in house could be Gausman (was it me, or did he start figuring things out and will be 27 next year) and Bundy, 25, seems to be turning the corner to at least look respectable compared to his uber-prospect reputation of a few years ago. Don’t think the other cast of remaining characters will be too helpful and the arms in the minors are a year or two away (Tanner Scott maybe?), but still a pitcher or two away from playoffs is better than rebuilding. Could they be in on a big signing like Arrieta or Darvish? Cobb? Less than stellar arms like Hell-boy again…Garcia?

Camden is a tough sell, but I think the Baltimore could give Boston (though certainly not baseball’s equivalent of the Justice League playing in pinstripes) and any other wild-card challengers a run for their money.
Disillusionment is what little heroes are made of. E. K. Hornbeck - Inherit the Wind (1960)
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