Mixed Emotions Muddle Mancini Trade Mood
People are letting their feelings about the man cloud their judgment on what's best for the team
The news we all expected to happen, at some level, finally happened Monday.
Let’s be real; I don’t like the Orioles trading Trey Mancini any more than anybody else does. Trey Mancini is a heartwarming story and the fact is that he was beloved by the fans, beloved by his teammates, and he loved the fans, his teammates, and the organization back. Mancini is the kinda guy you want to have in Baltimore.
But….the reasons FOR trading Mancini far outweigh the reasons not to.
Some chuckleheads (guess who?) think this deal was made for money.
Yeah, as if saving $2.5 million is the difference between life and death for this team.
Realistically, we know that Trey Mancini was not going to be an Oriole in 2023. His $10 million mutual option was not going to be renewed. Nor would the Orioles be able to pay him what he was worth on the open market to keep him around.
On top of that, the Orioles already have enough guys in the 1st Base/Outfield/DH mold hanging around right now, many of whom have higher ceilings than a 30-year-old Mancini. Kyle Stowers was already called up briefly this season. Yusniel Diaz is finally getting a chance with the big club. Guys like Colton Cowser, Coby Mayo, and Heston Kjerstad are knocking on the door, and that’s without even addressing all-world prospect Gunnar Henderson. There are guys in the system who are ready for compete, and do so potentially at a higher level than Mancini.
Finally, let’s look at the guys the Orioles did get in return for him:
RHP Chayce McDermott, obtained from Houston, has struck out 114 hitters in just 72 innings this year at High-A ball in the South Atlantic League. The ERA and the walks are high, but he’s the kind of pitcher the Orioles should be able to develop and mold.
RHP Seth Johnson, obtained from Tampa Bay, is the real centerpiece of the deal. Johnson is a high-ceiling starting pitcher who was among the top prospects in the Rays organization. While it’s that he’s looking at Tommy John surgery very soon, that is not the career-defining injury that it once was.
I would like to fully subscribe myself to what Dan Szymborski wrote about the deal for Fangraphs:
The Orioles got legitimate prospects for two months of an average hitter. To me, that’s worth modifying the 2022 playoff dream slightly.
Look I get it; it’s a bummer seeing a fan favorite like Mancini get moved. I feel it too. But they also were able to flip Mancini for two pitchers the likes of which I would not have thought they would be able to obtain a month ago. When opportunity knocks, open the door.
We’ll always have this…