Orioles: Recap of a Busy Trade Deadline in Baltimore
Orioles Acquire: Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Nunez, and Juan Rojas. Twins Acquire Jorge Lopez
This was the first trade to happen on Trade Deadline Day right before the blockbuster deal that sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres. As such, the national media coverage of this trade was limited but it was somewhat surprising for the O’s to trade their lone All-Star in exchange for only one pitcher that ranks in the top 30 in the system in Cade Povich.
Povich is the 26th-ranked prospect in the O’s system with the changeup being his best pitch with an average fastball and average control. He has struck out 12 batters per 9 innings with the Cedar Rapids Kernels this season with an ERA of 4.46 in 16 starts. He pitched well at Nebraska for two seasons and pitched well for the Savannah Bananas in the summer of 2020. The 4.12 K/BB ratio is the most impressive asset of his game. If he continues to improve upon his changeup and his control, he seems like a similar pitcher to John Means who has seen plenty of success at the MLB level for the Orioles.
While Povich is the headliner, the Orioles also acquired three other pitchers in the deal: Yennier Cano, Juan Nunez, and Juan Rojas. Nunez and Rojas are young pitchers who have not pitched above rookie ball for the Twins. Rojas is particularly intriguing as he is only 18 years old and has posted a 3.60 ERA this season in the Florida Complex League. He is a full three years younger than the average player in that league and has struck out 11.4 per 9 innings while only walking 1.2 per 9. If he continues this trend throughout his development, the lefty Rojas could potentially have a solid big league career along with Povich. Cano is an older pitcher who made his MLB debut earlier this year and has spent most of the season with the Triple-A St. Paul Saints. With the Saints, Cano posted an impressive 1.90 ERA while walking 2.3 per 9 innings in 23.2 innings pitched. Walks have been more of an issue throughout his career, but Cano provides Major-League-ready bullpen depth more than anything in Lopez’s absence.
Of course, the Orioles lose their lone All-Star from this season in the trade that likely pushes Felix Bautista into the closer’s role for the remainder of the season. Lopez retired two batters in the midsummer classic and, similar to Mancini, has faced his own off-the-field adversity while his son battles a rare disease that has left him in a children’s hospital for much of his young life. The absence of Mancini and Lopez leaves the Orioles without two of the most notable clubhouse presences for most of this season.