The Baltimore Orioles didn’t move any major league pieces at yesterday’s trade deadline.
The Baltimore Orioles found themselves in a slightly different position at this year’s trade deadline, compared to last season. Did moves need to be made at yesterday’s deadline? Not necessarily. Would any trade have improved the organization? Marginally, at best. Would it have been fun to join in on the deadline madness? Always. However, the Orioles remained quiet this season and that’s ok.
We don’t know why Mike Elias chose not to make any moves, yet. He is slated to address the media about this topic later today. Did the market drive teams away from the likes of Mychal Givens, despite Elias working the phones to try and move his controllable reliever? Or did Elias keep prices high, knowing what few valued trade pieces he had could fetch his desired return in the offseason or at next year’s deadline? Regardless of what we learn from Elias when he discusses how the deadline unfolded, it’s ok that the Orioles we saw take the field on July 30th are the same Orioles who take the field on August 1.
The Andrew Cashner trade to Boston was a bit of a different situation. A 32-year-old pitcher with no track record of success in the major leagues and an expiring contract provided no value to the Orioles. “But he had nine wins!” Congrats? Maybe the two teenagers received in return for Cashner phase-out of the system within the next few years, maybe one eventually reaches the majors. Two lottery tickets are better than Cashner continuing to pitch for the second-worst team in baseball and then walking away in free agency.
Givens, Trey Mancini, and Dylan Bundy aren’t on expiring contracts and can be moved in the offseason or at next year’s deadline, should teams remain interested. Without a tremendous amount of value, no player on the active roster was going to fetch a return of noteworthy prospects and the farm system is currently full of prospects who grade out as career-minor leaguers, per national scouting outlets. These types of players aren’t going to make this team better.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
Last year’s deals were mainly about moving expiring contracts and filling the farm system with something, anything. Now ranked as a Top 10 system, per Baseball America, growing their presence in the international market, and well on their way to selecting another elite prospect at the top of the 2020 draft, the Orioles are an organization on the rise. If you don’t see that, look a little harder.
Sure, Elias could have moved Hanser Alberto, Jonathan Villar, and others for more lottery tickets in the low minors and brought up some of his top prospects in the upper minors to fill the roster spots at the major league level, but why? Why bring Keegan Akin up to struggle in meaningless August/September games? Why bring Yusniel Diaz up after just a few months of little success in the system? Why bring up Austin Hays after he was quickly brought up to the major leagues, struggled, and has suffered injury after injury since? All three of these prospects, and others in this same situation, could very well become major league contributors, but each of them still has flaws and rough edges that need to be smoothed out.
There are two months left in the regular season and we get to continue to watch Hanser Alberto strike fear into left-handed pitchers, Anthony Santander give 100% on every single play as he fights for a 2020 roster spot, and we get to keep Boom Boom around. This team is bad, their record clearly demonstrates this, but they have been fun to watch and their never give up attitude has provided a handful of memorable moments in 2019. Best of all, the growing farm system and first wave of prospects will continue to slowly develop in the minors, exactly how they are supposed to.
While it’s ok to be disappointed that no moves were made and think Elias might have missed a golden opportunity to work some magic, if yesterday’s lack of activity was due to Elias holding his ground, I’m completely fine with that.
The Orioles return to the field on Thursday night for a ten-game homestand, beginning with a series against the Toronto Blue Jays. While the O’s will roll out their same roster, the Detroit Tigers moved two key pieces in Shane Greene and Nicholas Castellanos, meaning it will be much harder for the Orioles to get the top pick in the 2020 draft, but pick number two still means an elite prospect.