articlefeature--baltimore-orioles

To Replace Manny Machado the Orioles Need to Trade for Adrian Beltre

Wouldn't this pose look great in an Orioles uniform?

Wouldn’t this pose look great in an Orioles uniform?

The Baltimore Orioles continue to take blow after blow when it comes to injured young stars. The Orioles have already lost Matt Wieters for the season, a major loss on both sides of the ball, and now they have lost Manny Machado, another two-way contributor.

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We all know about Manny Machado’s glove. It’s made of gold. But Manny Machado was having a fine offensive season posting a 109 wRC+, 111 OPS+, and the best OBP of his young career.

And that home run power was starting to show as he had 12 of them in 327 at-bats after hitting 14 in a league-leading 667 at-bats last season.

After an 0-19 skid from 6/6 to 6/11, Manny Machad0 hit .328/.365/.522 with a 147 wRC+ with eight of his 12 home runs over those final 45 games. And after returning from his suspension on 7/5, Manny Machado hit .351/.385/.544 with a 159 wRC+. Simply put, there is no way to replace Manny Machado’s offense and defense internally.

Chris Davis is not really option. His bat has been dreadful this year and his glove is not adequate at third base, evidence by the -12.7 UZR in 655.2 career innings at the hot corner.

The good news is that Texas Rangers All-Star third basemen Adrian Beltre has cleared waivers and could be traded for. And, since the Rangers own the worst record in the American League, they can trade with anyone as they own the first waiver claim.

The Texas Rangers have top prospect Joey Gallo and his 80-grade power waiting to take over third base duties for the next six seasons and they could be eager to move Beltre and the money he is owed.

Adrian Beltre will not come cheaply, though. The cost might be Dylan Bundy plus. But the Orioles, whose window of opportunity is right now, should consider seriously trading for Adrian Beltre, not just because he helps them this season but also because he will be a part of their contending team next season, too.

Adrian Beltre has hit .315 or better in three straight season and four out of the last five seasons with a .296 season mixed in. Yeah, not bad. Over those five seasons he has not posted a wRC+ below 135 and played 154 or more games three times with 2014 looking to be the fourth time in five years he passes the 150 game mark.

Adrian Beltre’s lowest fWAR total in the last five seasons is his current 4.3 mark, which is All-Star level if his season ended now, and he will likely eclipse the 5-WAR mark this year for the fifth straight season. Over the last five seasons only Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and Andrew McCutchen have compiled a higher fWAR total than Adrain Beltre. That’s it.

Adding Adrian Beltre ensures that the infield defense maintains its reputation and it adds a bat that has a .361 OBP and 138 wRC+ over the last five season.

The best part about trading for Adrian Beltre is that the Orioles would get him for not just the remainder of this season but for 2015 at a very reasonable $18M as well and there is a vesting option for 2016 at $16M.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is set to be a free agent at year’s end and Manny Machado could move back to his original position with future hall-of-famer Adrian Beltre manning third base and future best-second-baseman-in-Orioles-history Jonathan Schoop locking down second base.

Yes, Adrian Beltre will be 36 next season, but Oliver projects Adrian Beltre to hit .300/.358/.482 next season with good defense. An easy 4-WAR player that will be very affordable as the Orioles only have about $33M on the books for next season before arbitration hearings.

I get the love for what Dylan Bundy could be. He’s a legitimate top pitching prospect with about six years of control. But what he could be and what Adrian Beltre already is are two different things and there is no time like the present.

Trading for Adrian Beltre comes at a cost, a likely steep cost,  but you know what you will get in Adrian Beltre and it’s one of the best overall players in the game and he is not just a two-month rental.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing at The Florida Post and you can follow him on twitter: @FigureFilbert

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Jonathan Mitchell

Jonathan C. Mitchell is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Florida Post and has had articles featured on ESPN and FanGraphs, among others. He is a former contributor to DRaysBay and Marlins Daily (formerly part of ESPN's SweetSpot Network) and currently resides in Tampa with his beautiful wife and daughter. In his spare time you are likely to catch him at a local coffee roaster talking about sports, espresso, or single-origin coffees.

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