Jorge Mateo, SS
When Jorge Mateo is at his best he's one of the most electric players in baseball. He has game breaking speed and has established himself as an elite defensive shortstop. Coming into this season, Mateo was given the starting shortstop gig after a 2022 season where he finished as one of the best all around defenders in baseball, while stealing 35 bases as well. The downside with Mateo is his offense, which has consistently put him as a well below average hitter.
The Orioles clearly had faith that Mateo could turn into a solid offensive threat, and their bet seemingly paid off after an unreal start to the season. Mateo began the year slashing .333/.377/.667 with 6 homeruns through the first month of 2023.
That torrid start quicky evaporated, and since the start of May, Mateo hasn't had a single month with a batting average over .200 and doesn't have any home runs since then either. Along with his offense, his defense has also regressed this season. He still is considered one of the better Orioles defenders, but he has just 2 outs above average this season compared to 10 last year.
Although Mateo still has value and has made an impact with his baserunning recently, there isn't an argument to be made for him being on the team next season. The Orioles have multiple elite prospects who are currently blocked by the likes of Jorge Mateo, such as Joey Ortiz and the number one prospect in baseball, Jackson Holliday.
Both of these players would be significant offensive upgrades over Mateo while also projecting to be very good defenders. The Orioles would miss his speed, but I just don't think there will be a spot for him when next season comes around.
Kyle Gibson, Starting Pitcher
Kyle Gibson was one of the few signings the Orioles made this offseason and he's been very serviceable in his role. He was brought in to be a solid veteran presence who could pitch a lot of innings for the Orioles, and he's done just that. Gibson leads the team in innings pitched and strikeouts while being tied with Dean Kremer with 11 wins on the season. His 145.1 innings this season rank as the 4th most in the A.L.
The issue with Gibson is that his numbers simply aren't that strong, even with the substantial innings totals. He's given up the most hits of any A.L pitcher this season and has an ERA of 4.89. His advanced numbers also demonstrate his struggles. He's in the below average percentiles in many different categories such as hard hit percentage, exit velocity, K percentage, expected batting average, and expected slugging percentage.
Gibson has done a solid job for the Orioles this season, similarly to that of Jordan Lyles last year. Gibson is set to become a free agent after the season, and with the starting rotation running into some bumps in the road recently, it would make sense for the team to add higher level starting pitching in the offseason rather than keeping Gibson around.