The holes in this ball club have been well-catalogued. And although it is true Baltimore does have trade chips, it is no surprise the club’s farm system is thin at best.
While many fans dig the big splash, improved performance by the Orioles of late, it has led to the idea that Duquette can make some very under the radar moves to instantly improve the team.
And Duquette can do this without plowing corn on the farm.
Bourjos, 25, is a lightning fast outfielder who is in his third year of big league service. He has shown the ability early in his career to make things happen with his legs.
Offensively, Bourjos seems like a player trying to find his niche. In his first full season in 2011, Bourjos hit .271 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI. Bourjos also had 26 doubles, 11 triples and 22 stolen bases. These numbers are pretty impressive, minus 124 strikeouts in 504 at-bats.
But Bourjos play has been reduced this season because of Mike Trout’s ascent and Mark Trumbo’s move to left field. Furthermore, Vernon Wells is set to return from a thumb injury. With $50 million remaining on Wells’ contract, it may be tough for LA to move him.
Could Bourjos find a niche with a team like the Orioles?
Bourjos is too good a talent to not find his groove in the big leagues. Given the right environment, plus consistent playing time, Bourjos can thrive.
Trading for Bourjos may also help Duquette better streamline his team, and may also help him resolve a logjam of average at best players on the Orioles roster. Bourjos will also give Baltimore an identity in the outfield.
For example, with L.J Hoes pounding on the big league door from Norfolk, Bourjos could combine with Adam Jones to create a young, exciting outfield corps for years to come.
Solidifying the outfield would allow Duquette to turn his attention to getting a sound veteran starting pitcher, as well as a sturdy third baseman—even if it means waiting until the offseason to do it.
The good thing about trading for Bourjos is that the Orioles may not have to give up too much in return. For a team with limited trade options, this is a good thing. And lets not forget the Orioles have cash the team can spend.
At the end of the day, Bourjos gives the Orioles an excellent opportunity to get younger, faster and more efficient on defense. More importantly for the birds and its devoted fans, Duquette may not have to sell the farm to jump on this opportunity.
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