The Baltimore Orioles are likely to be active at the trade deadline this season. Which players will be dealt and which players will bring back the biggest hauls?
The returns on those trades are in the very early stages of evaluations, but they consisted of quality prospects such as Yusniel Diaz, lottery ticket types like JC Encarnacion and Jean Carmona, and a few guys who have real potential of being major league contributors such as Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon, Dean Kremer, and Bruce Zimmermann. Will this year’s crop of trade pieces bring back a similar haul?
While Diaz has the potential to have the most successful career among all of the prospects acquired in last year’s return, he doesn’t project to be an elite player by any standards. However, that’s ok. This group, led by Diaz, will hopefully form the foundation and act as the starting blocks to a complete organizational overhaul.
What’s the next step? We’ve seen the beginning phases of the next step, which is all about player development. Philosophical changes are taking place throughout the minor league system as the team embraces today’s analytical movement. The results have been widely positive, with better defense being played and pitching strikeouts skyrocketing for each Orioles’ affiliate.
Up next- the MLB draft. It’s assumed the Baltimore Orioles will go with Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. Unless it’s Colonial Athletic Association college baseball, I don’t really follow it, so I’ve yet to watch Rutschman play, outside of his home run highlights. However, unless you live under a rock, we all know from every major outlet available that Rutschman is a generational talent who can fill the void at catcher, one of the weaker positions on the current ballclub.
Later this summer, we get to watch as Mike Elias works his magic on the international market. If you are a Baltimore Orioles fan, which I’m assuming you are if you are reading this, then your knowledge of the international market is likely limited. Personally, I haven’t paid much attention, knowing that the Orioles were never going to be players for any major talent. That’s going to have to change.
If you haven’t noticed by now, this entire rebuild process is a very long process, longer than most fans can bear to sit and wait through patiently, which is understandable. This year’s trade deadline will be another part of the process, but one not likely to bring in the elite talent that the draft/international market/free agent class will provide.
Last year’s trade haul was the foundation, this year’s haul can help bring in more talented depth pieces, increased competition down on the farm, and more Bannon/Zimmermann type prospects- higher floors/lower ceilings with the potential to have valuable roles on the major league roster.
So, which current members of the Baltimore Orioles are likely to be traded and who will bring back the biggest hauls? Let’s rank them.