Would You Rather: Kendry Morales or Garrett Jones?
I’ve been really high on the whole Baltimore Orioles trading for Los Angeles Angels outfielder extraordinaire Peter Bourjos and slugging first baseman/designated hitter Mark Trumbo. Granted, I wasn’t always so sold on either of these players – mostly Bourjos – but I finally came around to liking what they could provide on offense and defense, enough that I’ve been barnstorming the Orioles for a trade to take place between the two teams over the last several weeks. That little dream has finally hit the hard brick wall called reality and it’s not going to happen. Not after what the Philadelphia Phillies gave up in exchange for Ben Revere.
Just because two of the better, and formerly affordable in a trade, targets of the offseason are essentially off the table unless you want to dramatically overpay then that really leaves two players that would suit the Orioles’ need. The Angels are interested in trading away first baseman/designated hitter Kendry Morales, who is in the final year of his contract and due a decent raise in arbitration from the $2.95 million he made this past season. By all accounts, they are still looking to pick up a starting pitcher or bullpen help but they won’t get a starting pitcher of substantial value for Morales, so that means they’ll likely settle for a decent middle reliever in exchange for him.
The other player being dangled in trade talks is first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been dangling Jones in trade talks since before the trade deadline last season and while they publicly say they have no problem holding onto him, it’s still pretty clear they would like to trade him for a starting pitcher or pitching of any kind really.
For a team like the Orioles, these two players could be the perfect candidates to trade for that shouldn’t (and I do stress shouldn’t) cost too much to acquire. However, you would think that if the Orioles were to trade Dylan Bundy right now they’d be able to get a nuclear submarine and Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime (which basically means a nuclear sub and Giancarlo Stanton), especially when you take a look at the type of money being thrown around for starting pitchers on the free agent market so far this offseason.
But since the Orioles aren’t going to be trading Bundy, regardless of how many nukes are on board that submarine, their best trade chips are their bullpen arms and one of their excess young starters such as Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Steve Johnson or even Zach Britton. Don’t take this as me suggesting they trade any of those players in exchange for either of the players mentioned at the beginning of this riff-raff type of rambling either.
With the way the market for free agents, players under contractual control for five more years or even just one more year has played out so far, I’m willing to say it’s damn near impossible to guestimate what exactly a team would have to give up to acquire either Morales or Jones at this point. It could be for peanuts and an empty candy wrapper or it could be for a giant chocolate chip cookie and freshly baked fudge brownies. Why I’m even using snack-type analogies for this I have no idea, but there you have it. The Orioles will either acquire Morales or Jones for peanuts and an empty candy wrapper or for a giant chocolate chip cookie and freshly baked fudge brownies – you heard it from me first, remember that.
I’ll be taking a closer look at both Morales and Jones in the coming days, assuming they are both still available to the Orioles of course.