Jeremy Guthrie has thrown over 200 innings in each of the last three seasons. He is the very definition of an innings-eater, a guy who can help a team make the playoffs and be a really good cheerleader once they got there.
The Orioles were never that team. And according to Ken Rosenthal, they did a very Orioles thing by trading Guthrie when they did.
Instead, the Orioles made a deal that is all too typical of them, waiting too long to move Guthrie and receiving too little in return. They need prospects, genuine prospects, and they did not get one in the deal that they completed with the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
Rosenthal thinks that the time to trade Guthrie was two or three years ago, when he was cheaper and locked up. He's probably right. But Guthrie submitted an arbitration request for $10.25 million; the Orioles countered with $7.25 million. No matter who wins, Guthrie will be making a lot of money to be an innings-eater.
Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom will combine to make $7.35 million. The Orioles get two roster spots for the price of their bid to Guthrie. This also eliminates the possibility that Guthrie would win the dang case and take up 15 percent of the Orioles' total budget.
Rosenthal may or may not be right that Guthrie could have brought real-live prospects back at some point, but the Orioles still needed to make the trade now. A $10 million Jeremy Guthrie on the Orioles would be like ... a $10 million Jeremy Guthrie on the Orioles. There isn't an analogy that's more apt than the potential reality. So the trade makes sense, and it will save them a little money too. This trade wasn't as Orioles as it could have been.
Edit: Guthrie agreed to a one-year, $8.2 million deal to avoid arbitration with the Rockies. That's still one expensive Jeremy Guthrie.