MLB Trade Rumors: Why Jeremy Guthrie Could Not Be an Oriole at the Deadline

Alex SnyderContributor IIJanuary 19, 2012

Jeremy Guthrie has lead the Baltimore Orioles' pitching staff for years, but we may be approaching the time when he changes uniforms.
Jeremy Guthrie has lead the Baltimore Orioles' pitching staff for years, but we may be approaching the time when he changes uniforms.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This kind of talk has been surrounding Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie for years now:

Is he going to be an Oriole come the start of next season?

Oh, the trade deadline is approaching. Will he still be here on the first of August?

Guthrie's used to it, and knows how to tune it out. He doesn't follow trade rumors online or on TV stations such as ESPN. Heck, the only way he'd know that he's on the trading block again is if one of his friends or family members mentions it to him.

And even then, he doesn't care.

His job is to go out there and pitch to the best of his ability. He knows that. So he pays no attention to the rumors.

After all, rumors are just rumors, right? If they weren't, they'd be called "facts."

But as Guthrie's time for free agency is quickly approaching, and the Orioles are nowhere near contention—unless, by some miracle, three of the young pitching core start pitching like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels—it might be time for the O's to deal Guthrie.

And if this isn't done this offseason, it's even more possible it'll be at the trading deadline of the upcoming season.

The Orioles would much rather get some pieces back in return for Guthrie's departure, assuming he were to move on to another team. And if his price is relatively high for an extension, why pay him money to lose ball games because the club isn't going to contend any time soon?

The O's need building blocks, and Jeremy Guthrie can bring in a few of those building blocks. That's the rationale, anyway. Having those building blocks developed by this organization, which doesn't have the brightest track record in that department, is another story.

And with the surplus of capable pitchers that GM Dan Duquette has been picking up this offseason, the Orioles wouldn't necessarily need Guthrie's 200 innings as badly as they have in recent years. This could be one of the few deadlines in which the Orioles could actually afford to deal their ace by default.

July's non-waiver trading deadline offers a prime time to deal players from losing teams to winning teams in need of a boost. A contender looking to add to their rotation down the stretch could offer a deal that Duquette would be hard-pressed to turn down.

If that were the case, Guthrie would be packing his bags, and finally off to greener pastures.

The O's don't need to move Guthrie, but at this point, the argument to trade him for pieces seems to be stronger than the argument to keep him. After all, the O's likely won't be winning any time soon. And unless he can be locked up for a very reasonable price, he will most likely be moved.

After all the years of speculation, this could finally be the one where actions speak as loudly as words.