A lot of people were a bit surprised when the Baltimore Orioles didn't trade starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie at the trade deadline in July. To be blunt, Buck Showalter probably couldn't afford to lose Guthrie, his most consistent starter, in the rotation. Why replace the current Ms. Iowa with Ms. America 1978 if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, what could the Orioles have realistically gotten for Guthrie? Odds are probably not much given his record at the time (and now). Here's the thing; most teams are aware of the fact that Guthrie is a decent pitcher, and that he has the hardest luck in the league. However the fact is that statistics talk, and GM's who were interested in Guthrie probably would have used those facts to strongarm the Orioles into giving him away for next-to-nothing.
In last night's 2-0 win over Toronto, Guthrie pitched a masterful game; 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 K, 3 BB. While Guthrie has had games in which he's struggled as well over time, that's the kind of start that's the kind of start that we've come to expect from him. So with one year left on his contract, did the O's make a good move by keeping him? It's certainly possible if you think about it. While the season was headed south well before the trading deadline, the Orioles did want to maintain a certain respectability in a sense. Guthrie's starts every five days give them that luxury. My personal opinion is that Jeremy Guthrie will be the opening day starter in 2012. However if we've proven anything this season, it's that I don't know too much! Could Guthrie be the topic of an offseason trade?
The answer to that is simple; anything's possible. First off, the O's will presumably have a new GM this offseason. So a potential deal for Guthrie might be just the splash that guy might look to make. However as I said, everyone knows that Guthrie's a hard luck loser. So in a sense, a team trying to deal a guy like that during a bad season is doing so as an act of desperation so to speak in that they want to get some young blood onto their team. However dealing a starter during the offseason is something different entirely. The Orioles might be in a position to sell Guthrie on another team outside of the realm of the season. What the Orioles need is more young blood in their farm system, which is exactly what Guthrie might yield in the final year of his contract.
Again, my personal opinion is that the Orioles will trot Guthrie out as the opening day starter in 2012. However if in fact they are looking to deal Guthrie, they would potentially be identifying potential trade partners and young talent that Guthrie could yield right now. If such a trade was to go down, it would have certainly been a smart move by Andy MacPhail and Buch Showalter not to have traded Guthrie during the season. Whether or not any of this happens is another story, however I suppose I would just say that we shouldn't interpret the Orioles' lack of action at the trade deadline (with regard to Guthrie) as ineptitude.