The Orioles are currently in last place, seven games behind the first place Red Sox and two games under .500. And while most teams would get discouraged by a record like that, I think even the Orioles brass would admit that things could be a lot worse.
When your starting lineup features an aging Melvin Mora (who must be exhausted from raising all those kids), Kevin Millar (who should be filling in for John Kruk on Baseball Tonight by now), and Aubrey Huff (who loves Bubba the Love Sponge but hates Baltimore, hon), you know you’ve got a few holes to fill.
So, we can’t really talk about Baltimore’s needs by position. Outside of CF Adam Jones and RF Nick Markakis, Baltimore pretty much needs a complete overhaul.
They’re starting with the uniforms, but what the O’s really need is to continue the rebuilding effort that they started in the offseason, when they traded ace Erik Bedard for Jones. The next player to go should be Brian Roberts, who will never be more valuable than he is now. Roberts is a premier second baseman, for sure. But he’s a player whose value is closely tied to his speed. He stole 50 bases last season and is on pace for that many stolen bases this season. Think the 30-year-old will keep it up? Me neither. Baltimore needs to trade Roberts now, before he starts to slow down and his value drops precipitously.
We know the Cubs are interested in Roberts. As the deadline approaches, don’t be surprised to see the Mets or White Sox make offers. Baltimore should shop Roberts and then pull the trigger on a trade. Because while Roberts is quality, Baltimore needs quantity.