As frustrating as it can be to be a Mets fan, take solace in the fact that you are not an Orioles fan right now (unless you are some sort of hybrid Mets/Orioles fan, in which case I question your choices). Baltimore has been the worst team in the majors this season, and with the potential of losing star players like Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Zach Britton this offseason, the future looks bleak as well. Even though this year already seems like a lost season for the O’s, they do have some interesting players, many of who will be trade chips at the deadline. With that in mind, the focus of this stats preview is on tradable Orioles.
Richard Bleier: Bleier comes with five years of control after 2018, but he is already 31, so the Orioles may seek to move him while his value is up. The lefty only has a 4.19 K/9 on the year, but combined with a 1.29 BB/9 and a 58% ground ball rate, his FIP is 2.77. He is an extreme sinkerballer, as he throws the pitch 57.5% of the time and gets ground balls on 63% of balls on sinkers in play. The strikeout numbers are well below average, but a team looking to add lefty depth to their bullpen may strike a deal for Bleier.
Danny Valencia: Valencia has bounced around seven American League teams the last nine seasons, and if he keeps up his 2018 production, he may find himself playing on yet another team after the deadline. His strikeout and walk rates are better than his career averages, and his TAv is a more than useful .287. The last time he had a negative WARP was 2012, so he may be a good bet to be a reliable bench bat for a contender.
Manny Machado: While the first two players on this list would bring back modest returns, if the Orioles trade Machado, they would be expecting impact talent in exchange. He has unsurprisingly been the Orioles’ most productive hitter, but, unlike previous seasons where he had good talent surrounding him, this year Machado has produced almost the entirety of Baltimore’s offensive output. In terms of WARP, Machado has been worth 2.6, while the rest of Baltimore hitters have been worth -4.0 (no, that negative is not a typo). It will hurt Baltimore fans to see Machado in another uniform, but in order to recoup some of the value that may be lost in free agency, trading Machado may be the best option.
The Good: Dylan Bundy’s 10.9 K/9 is good for 12th among qualified starters. Jacob deGrom is fourth best at 12.2 K/9.
The Bad: Chris Davis has been the worst position player in the majors this season (-2.1 WARP). Jose Reyes has been the Mets worst position player with -0.73 WARP.
The Ugly: Orioles pitchers have been even worse than their hitters with a combined -2.9 WARP. Mets pitchers have been worth a combined 4.5 WARP.
Just in case Jason Vargas’ last start seemed encouraging, it is worth noting that his velocities on each pitch were relatively unchanged, the movement on his pitches was a little down (except his four seam horizontal movement) and his swing-and-miss rates on all four pitches were down too. He just has not been very good, and his last start does not really seem to be an indication of better starts to come.
Photo credit: Brad Mills – USA Today Sports