As the Baltimore Orioles were about to take on the Toronto Blue Jays today, we got news that the New York Mets had dealt Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Zach Wheeler among others. Furthermore, the St. Louis Cardinals picked up Edwin Jackson from the Toronto Blue Jays (who beat the O's 3-0 tonight at Rogers Centre) in return for Colby Rasumus. However these deals affect their respective teams remains to be seen, however the fact is that they all opted to do something. So the question is whether or not the Orioles will do the same.The main trade chips that the Orioles have are Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara. Having said that, I would say that Guthrie is probably the bigger of the two pieces. While the "Guthrie sweeptstakes" aren't anywhere near as big as what we saw with Beltran, Guthrie is certainly a pitcher that could help a contender. (Having said this, the Beltran deal hasn't officially gone through as of yet, though Beltran was told to collect his belongings and head to Philadelphia to join the Giants who are taking on the Phillies.)

Here's the thing; are the Orioles in a similar position as the Mets in terms of being out of contention? On paper the Mets are in third place which in theory means that they aren't out of contention per se. They also have twelve more wins than the Orioles, so how could you argue that the Orioles aren't worse? Whether they're better or worse is beside the point. Carlos Beltran was probably the only player that the Mets had which had trade value. Furthermore, odds are against Beltran wanting to re-sign with the Mets. So they figured that they might as well send him to a contender and get some value out of him. The Mets are also in a precarious position in terms of ownership, which might well have sent the price for Beltran downward. In contrast, the Orioles do in fact have a good core of players at the moment. Granted the "calvary" has struggled, however Markakis, Jones, and Wieters are part of a young core of this team which will anchor the Byrds-I mean-Birds for years to come (why I referenced the 1960's folk group I'll never know). The Mets don't appear to have that, which means that eventually things will have to get worse before they get better. Teams make moves like this in order to make things "worse before they get better."

In theory, the O's have already done that. Some people would probably say "could have fooled me," however that's another story. The Orioles' problem this year has also been pitching, and if you deal Guthrie you deal the most consistent pitcher that you have. It's almost a lose-lose situation for the O's because if they deal Guthrie things could get really dicey moving forward (depending of course upon who the Orioles get in return). If they don't deal Guthrie, they could potentially lose an opprotunity to improve themselves down the road. However how long will we be talking about improving for the future? As I've said, Andy MacPhail always gets good value in trades. However at some point the future should be now, or something like that. So what should the Orioles do? One way or the other, we'll get our answer as to what they will do no later than Sunday afternoon.