There were rumors that the Baltimore Orioles were among the teams that were interested in trading for Hanley Ramirez, who would have been the perfect player for the team’s current needs. Unfortunately for O’s fans, the Miami Marlins dealt him to the Los Angeles Dodgers this morning along with Randy Choate for pitcher Nate Eovaldi and a prospect. Eovaldi is a solid prospect, but he’s not someone that I think would be the main piece in a deal to acquire a player of Ramirez’s stature.
This is the kind of deal that the O’s needed to make if they wanted to get serious about making a run at the playoffs this season and for the next few years. Jake Arrieta or Brian Matusz are on the level — if not better — than Eovaldi. Outside of Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado, everyone in the organization should have been up for discussion to make a move like this happen.
Adding Ramirez at third and placing him somewhere between two and five in the order would have given the O’s more firepower on offense and more range in the field. With two seasons remaining on his contract, he is under team control until he turns 30.
Bottom line here is Baltimore isn’t attractive to free agents, especially players on Ramirez’s level. Remember Paul Konerko and Mark Teixera? The O’s haven’t been able to land a big time free agent in years, thus settling for veterans in the twilight of their careers on the hope that they have a renaissance season and can be dealt at the deadline for prospects. Derrek Lee, Vlad Guerrero, Garrett Atkins and Kevin Millwood come to mind — none of which worked out. Instead the teams has had to settle for guys like Tyler Wigginton and Wilson Betemit, which is just sad.
The Orioles may have had a chance to add a player in his prime that could have teamed with Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis to give the O’s a great offensive core to build around, giving the team hope at sustained relevance for the first time in 15 years.
The incompetence of the organization continues to amaze me.