Glenn Clark: Absolutely No Reason For Orioles To Trade Trey Mancini Right Now

I know we’re all struggling to move on from that incredibly shocking moment at the Academy Awards. But you guys, “The Windshield Wiper” was really good and even though we all believed “Affairs of the Art” deserved to win Best Animated Short, there will be more chances for Joanna Quinn and Les Mills.

Anyhoo, I’m here to rush the stage and (ABSOLUTELY NOT LITERALLY) smack the hell out of the idea of trading Trey Mancini. At least right now.

You know the situation. Trey Mancini and the Orioles are headed to mediation over the difference in a little more than $600,000 worth of salary this season. These types of things happen regularly in the sport. The Orioles typically win such disputes and everyone usually moves forward in a professional manner.

But because this one involves Joseph Anthony Mancini III, we’re a BIT more defensive about it here in Baltimore. Trey Mancini, of course, is a saint. He was Mo Gaba’s best friend. He defeated cancer with his bare hands. He has willingly accepted the role as the face of an organization at a time when, you know, who in THE HELL would want to do that?

So a relevant thought in relation to the arbitration situation might be something along the lines of, “Is it really worth fighting over $600,000 on a player when the negative publicity that comes with it might be worth AT LEAST $600,000?” And yes, yes indeed, that is a relevant question!

With that backdrop, The Athletic’s Dan Connolly pointed out last week that general manager Mike Elias might choose to trade Mancini even before Opening Day! With the sides squabbling over such a small amount of money — particularly considering the negativity that comes with such a squabble — it might be reasonable to assume the Orioles might prefer just going ahead and moving on now.

There is an argument to be made that there is no reason to spend any additional money at all right now since the team is, you know, absolutely not going to be good again. And there is an argument to be made that there is no reason to give significant playing time to anyone that might not be part of the team’s long-term plans. If they’re going to be bad, they might as well try to learn as much as they can about their younger players in the process. These are legitimate arguments about a complicated situation! Kinda like when someone makes a joke and … yeah, I’m not going to finish that sentence.

Even my Glenn Clark Radio producer/sidekick Paul Valle III defended the idea of moving on from Mancini and it took me everything in my power to not scream back “keep my first baseman’s name out of your f*cking mouth” and you guys, I promise, that’s it. Last one. I’m sorry. Writing a column at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night usually doesn’t cause these types of problems.

This remains pretty simple to me at this point. There is absolutely no reason for the Orioles to be trading Trey Mancini. Not now, anyway.

These are the most pertinent facts:

1. Trey Mancini has been a good baseball player for the majority of his career.

2. He wasn’t quite as good of a baseball player as the season went on last year.

3. He had missed an extraordinary amount of time going into last year, and it’s quite understandable that the time off and his health issues could have played a role in why his performance took a bit of a dip as the season went along!

4. Even at his absolute best, Mancini was never likely to net the Orioles much in a trade return. Most organizations believe they already have a Trey Mancini on their roster or one that’s not far away from the bigs.

5. After a disappointing season and with just one year left on his contract, he’s likely to net even less of a return.

6. He’s not really blocking anyone that matters. At least not yet. Yes, some combination of DJ Stewart, Austin Hays and Ryan McKenna could potentially get some more at-bats if Mancini wasn’t around, but those aren’t the guys that matter in this rebuilding process.

7. Obviously Trey Mancini will never be as valuable to any other organization as he is in Baltimore. Not close.

I think that’s the extent of the evidence. The most reasonable conclusion to come to? You don’t trade Trey Mancini right now … unless there’s some team that strangely wants to pay you far more than what we think a likely return for Mancini would be. The “getting something is better than getting nothing” argument is in play here, but the “something” in the equation seems likely to be negligible.

If Mancini plays well, the “lottery ticket” return is unlikely to go away, but perhaps a particularly injury-riddled club gives you a lottery ticket during a week in which there is a bigger jackpot. If he shows further decline, you don’t have to guarantee his at-bats and can move on at the end of the year knowing that the return you missed out on simply wasn’t that significant anyway.

And here’s an even zanier idea. If Mancini plays well, perhaps you reconsider how he fits in to the equation moving forward. At some point, this organization is going to HAVE to spend money on baseball players. There are far worse ways to spend money than on what would likely not be an overwhelming deal for a solid hitter who can provide extraordinary leadership to a young clubhouse!

There is one caveat to my suggestion. Paul and I discussed the idea of using Mancini as bait to make a trade in which you take on another team’s bad contract. If the Orioles were even exploring the idea of frontloading an offer for Carlos Correa, they could also use that money to “buy” another team’s quality prospect(s) by taking on their bad money. If that team could use a veteran hitter, perhaps acquiring Mancini could make parting ways with a viable prospect more palatable.

I’m in favor of making as many of those types of deals as possible, whether Mancini is involved or not.

But ultimately, now is not the time. A Mancini trade for a lottery-ticket-caliber return would come off as nothing more than a minimal salary dump and would uniquely infuriate a fan base that has already been through a truly absurd amount of embarrassment in recent years. There’s no justification for it at all.

And speaking of no justification, let’s talk about … I’m sorry.

Photo Credit: Colin Murphy/PressBox

Glenn Clark

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