No team in Major League Baseball is in a better position to remake their team than the Baltimore Orioles, who have trade-able assets aplenty.
The MLB trade deadline is upon us and for Baltimore Orioles fans, that is all that is left of this soul-crushing season. Some of us (raised hand) wanted the Baltimore Orioles to dismantle the team and rebuild over the winter.
However, the team decided they would make one last run at it with the core of the team intact. To say that has gone horribly would be an understatement.
And so, here we are, waiting for the Orioles to make a move.
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Most baseball experts believe the trading will really pick up after next week’s amateur draft.
USA Today writer Bob Nightengale recently surveyed executives and front office personnel about the top 20 players most likely to be dealt, and where each could go.
The Orioles had four players on that list, which included Manny Machado as the top player available, which he is. Because Manny Machado is a top 10 player in the game, and the only one on a terrible team.
Add in trading Mark Trumbo, Danny Valencia, Pedro Alvarez, potentially Andrew Cashner, maybe Kevin Gausman, maybe Darren O’Day, possibly Richard Bleier and you can see how the Orioles are going to be a major player at the trade deadline.
As mentioned previously, anyone who is not a piece for 2020 should be gone.
Chris Davis should be gone too, but we all know that is unlikely.
Where could some of these players go? Glad you asked.
Machado could go to a number of teams that are looking for a shortstop or third baseman. The Philadelphia Phillies make the most sense, as they are also a front-runner to sign him after the season.
Ken Rosenthal believes the Atlanta Braves will at least check on Machado.
Buster Olney recently discussed how a possible Orioles/St. Louis Cardinals winter trade was scuttled (by the Cardinals), that featured Jedd Gyorko and pitching prospects. That could pick back up again.
The Cardinals make a lot of sense, with Alex Reyes now healthy (well momentarily, he was lifted very early in Tuesday’s game) and their wealth of young pitching talent, including Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Luke Weaver, Austin Gomber, Dakota Hudson and Ryan Helsley.
Britton and Brach, as well as O’Day and Bleier, could have any number of suitors. The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians are near the top.
The Indians’ bullpen ERA is a terrible 6.08, worst in baseball.
The Astros is 3.02, best in the AL. However, they have had issues at the back end of the bullpen, somewhere Brach or Britton could certainly help.
Both teams like themselves as World Series contenders, and we have seen the importance of a flawless bullpen in the playoffs.
Other contenders with bullpen woes that are contenders and may be interested in a trade include the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s bullpen has been decent, but their rotation has been decimated by injuries. Perhaps they are interested in shoring up the bullpen to take pressure off starters, or maybe they are a destination for Gausman or Cashner.
As for Adam Jones, there are a few locations on the West Coast, which he would likely welcome a trade to, that make sense.
The Oakland Athletics are one of those. Their center fielders are hitting .177, and Jones’ activism in the African American community would make him a good fit in Oakland.
Further south in California, the Los Angeles Dodgers are getting little from their center fielders too. Their CFs are hitting .192.
But, the most logical destination, and where executives told Nightengale that Jones could end up, is back in Seattle. The team has never been the same since Jones was traded to Baltimore.
Although the Mariners are getting good performance from their outfielders, they are Ben Gamel, Mitch Haniger, Guillermo Heredia and Denard Span, since Dee Gordon is manning second base (but is also out with an injury). Haniger has had a great year, Span did well for Tampa, but Jones would it right in.
Trumbo could also have a place on a contender. If Adam Lind can be signed by the Red Sox after being designated for assignment, then someone would trade for Trumbo, who has actually been one of the Orioles’ best hitters, hitting /.301/.318/.458 in 21 games.
Speaking of guys hitting well for the Orioles, Danny Valencia may have some worth too. He is hitting .279/.339/.471, and everyone knows how he mashes left-handed pitching.
Pedro Alvarez has a below the Mendoza line average, but he also has eight home runs. You can’t tell me his power off the bench as a pinch hitter wouldn’t be appreciated, even if it is just as a September call-up and potential last man on a playoff roster.
Trade season is coming, where rumors will be bandied about more often than Oriole losses (which says a lot).
Keep your head on a swivel, and be ready. If the Baltimore Orioles are going to do this right, they will be very busy over the next two months.