Baltimore Orioles: First basemen on the move?

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports /

Can the Baltimore Orioles now use the likes of Christian Walker and Trey Mancini as trade bait?

The Chris Davis signing had ripple effects for the Baltimore Orioles and beyond. However aside from the obvious, perhaps it had no bigger bearing than for two guys currently in the Orioles’ farm system: Christian Walker and Trey Mancini. Both could be big league level talent, and yes both are first basemen.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports /

Walker of course has been up with the Orioles here and there, so his big league clock has already started. While he’s shown some raw talent, he does need some extra seasoning which of course he’s still getting in the minor leagues. Mancini however is the reigning Orioles’ minor league player of the year. He’s been on Showalter and Duquette’s radar for some time.

One of these two was possibly thought of as the first baseman of the future at one time. However that’s not the case necessarily any longer with Davis re-signing for seven years. Both Showalter and Duquette have emphatically said that Davis was signed to play first base – not that it was ever in question.

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  • So where does that leave these two? I would submit that the Orioles now have two very solid first basemen in the organization who could become very attractive pieces of trade bait. This is not to say that the O’s should definitely trade them, because I’m not convinced that should be the case. But come mid-season and the deadline if the Birds are perhaps looking for an arm or even a bat…

    …you get the idea. And incidentally if you’re the Orioles you also want to do justice by the players themselves. Both appear to be major league talent, or at least capable of becoming major league talent. Presumably neither wants to be stuck in an organization that has a major league first baseman tied up for seven years.

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    They’ll say all the right things in terms of knowing that Davis is good for the organization and so forth (which he is), however secretly they also probably wouldn’t mind being traded to an organization that’s going to give them an opportunity to play in the bigs. Be that today or tomorrow. The O’s aren’t in a position to do that right now, nor are they for the foreseeable future.

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    Ultimately if the Birds could get decent return on one or both of them, it’s worth considering. On the flip side, is Davis going to be a first baseman for the duration of his deal, or would he eventually switch to DH? Thus is it worth keeping one of them in the organization? These are all questions the Orioles will have to answer internally.