Baltimore Orioles Go All-In on Rebuild in July 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: Yefry Ramirez #32 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: Yefry Ramirez #32 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Orioles decided in July 2018 that the previous way of doing it was not going to work, and went all-in on a rebuild.

Is your head still spinning following all the Baltimore Orioles deals at the 2018 MLB trade deadline?

If so, it may not be from a few too many shots last night. Unless, of course, those shots were due to the Baltimore Orioles trading away your favorite players.

Manny Machado was the first to go, but certainly not the last. Then it was Zach Britton. That was followed by Brad Brach. And then, on the day of the trade deadline, the move to a full rebuild as Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Darren O’Day were traded.

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Now, none of this is a complaint from me. I wanted a full rebuild in the offseason. I wanted a full rebuild at the trade deadline. But, I didn’t expect it. In a way, it certainly is hard for Oriole fans to fathom. Five of these six players were All-Stars.

Three of them pitched in the best game that most Oriole fans under the age of 30 ever experienced, the 2014 Game 2 of the ALDS. Brach got the win, Britton the save, but it was Gausman who came in and shut down the Tigers so that the Orioles and Delmon Young could come back.

What does it leave in Baltimore? A certain hope for the future, but a lot of questions for the present.

Only two current Orioles have contracts that expire after next season: Mark Trumbo and Andrew Cashner. I would expect the Orioles to try to move Trumbo before the season ends, or potentially in the offseason. The Orioles will probably hold on to Cashner, since they don’t have a ton of pitching.

If you have zoned out on the Orioles recently, you might not recognize half of the 40-man roster:

Catchers: Caleb Joseph, Austin Wynns, Chance Sisco, Andrew Susac*

Infield: Chris Davis, Jace Peterson, Renato Nunez, Tim Beckham, Danny Valencia, Breyvic Valera, Engelb Vielma*, Jonathan Villar*, Steve Wilkerson*

Outfield: Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Joey Rickard, Craig Gentry*, Austin Hays*, Anthony Santander, Mark Trumbo

Rotation: Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, David Hess, Yefry Ramirez, Hunter Harvey, Jimmy Yacabonis, Gabriel Ynoa*

Bullpen: Pedro Araujo*, Richard Bleier*, Cody Carroll, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Jhan Marinez, Ryan Meisiner*, Evan Phillips, Tanner Scott, Mike Wright Jr.

Not exactly championship caliber.

But, let’s look a little at where the Orioles’ roster could go moving forward.

Tomorrow, Jonathan Villar, who was acquired in the Schoop trade, will be added to the roster as he comes off the disabled list. My guess is that he will replace a pitcher.

Dan Duquette made it sound Tuesday night like the Orioles are getting closer to calling up Cedric Mullins, who is not on the 40-man.

Chance Sisco should be in the major leagues, and if the Orioles are going to really go with a rebuild, he and Austin Wynns should get the playing time, with Wynns as a reserve. Andrew Susac is out for the year.

The Orioles also have under contract Engelb Vielma, Steve Wilkerson and Luis Sardinas. Wilkerson is on the disabled list, and likely has a part in the team’s future. The other two likely are little more than Triple-A players.

Of course, one could also ask if Nunez, Valera and Peterson are much more than Triple-A players as well. Valencia, Jones and Gentry are all free agents at years end. And at this point, I think Gentry is the most likely to return. Who is waiting in the wings and deserves a look in the majors from Triple-A Norfolk, you may ask?

For position players, we have already mentioned Sisco. Drew Dosch has been a solid third baseman for a few years now, and he arguably deserves a chance to show his ability. Mullins to Baltimore is a matter of when at this point, and DJ Stewart could join him.

Mike Yastrzemski has done pretty well with his promotion to Triple-A and may deserve a chance to show his ability, but someone has to play the OF for Norfolk, and they are the only three OFs on the team.

Meisinger has done very well between Double-A and Triple-A and maybe a future bullpen piece. Evan Phillips, recently acquired in the Gausman/O’Day deal, is another player who deserves a shot in the ‘pen. John Means is a starter who could start later in the season.

Part of the excitement of a rebuild is giving players an opportunity to prove that they should be in the major leagues. At this point, as the Orioles look toward the future that will be an exciting part of the rest of the 2018 season.

Next. The Complete Guide to the Orioles Acquired Players from Trade Deadline. dark

The other exciting part will be getting to say goodbye to Adam Jones. No matter how you feel about his refusal to be traded, Jones has been the cornerstone and leader of this team (and the game), and while many other fan favorites never got a proper goodbye from the Birdland faithful this season, it appears Adam will.