Well, today's stroke of Orioles genius comes via Brittany Ghiroli, the Orioles beat reporter for MLB.com. Ghiroli does a great job following the team and always has her finger on the pulse of what fans want to know. After the hapless writing of Spencer Fordin, Ghiroli is a breath of fresh air.
Anyway, today Ghiroli wrote about Jim Johnson and the Orioles' stance that he's "untouchable".
Relievers Koji Uehara and Jim Johnson are both having excellent seasons in the later innings, but Uehara has drawn tepid interest given his age and injury-prone status. Johnson has established himself as one of the best setup men in the American League, and the organization -- which has told several teams it's unwilling to discuss offers for the reliever -- continues to have internal discussions about moving Johnson into a starting role next season.
There's no denying that outside of a few bad outings, Johnson has had a terrific year. He's also on pace to throw over 100 innings as a relief pitcher and will be 29 next year. He's not some young buck who the Orioles are hoping will be a part of their next winning team. He's a prime trade candidate.
You know the saying, "sell high"? Well the Orioles clearly don't.
And the talk of converting Johnson to a starting pitcher? There's been rumblings about Johnson wanting to be a starter (like he was in the minors) but as the other saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Even if the Orioles were to keep Johnson (and they shouldn't), making him a starting pitcher would be a colossal mistake. Johnson excels where he is. Leave him there.
No, actually trade him, so his new team can leave him there.
Hopefully Andy MacPhail is simply posturing here, but really, would you be surprised if everything Ghiroli wrote was true?
I wouldn't. And I expect the Orioles to say and do a lot of dumb things for the remainder of the season.
The Bad Oriole is about to really live up to its name.