The Orioles are coming off of one of the best regular seasons in team history, but they fell short in the divisional round to the eventual World Series Champion Texas Rangers. With the disappointing end to the season, many people within the baseball industry believe the Orioles could look to make a splash move this offseason to add to their young core of players. Here are 5 Orioles prospects who could be included in a deal this offseason.
What Orioles prospects could be traded this winter?
Colton Cowser, OF
Colton Cowser is the Orioles second best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, ranking 14th overall in the majors. Cowser had an extremely impressive season at Triple-A Norfolk this season, slashing .300/.417/.520 while hitting 17 homeruns in 87 games. Cowser is an extremely well-rounded prospect and a guy who should be in the majors next season, whether it's with the Orioles or some other team.
At first glance everything I mentioned would seem like good reason to hold onto a guy like Colton Cowser, but I think the Orioles may be willing to part ways if the price is right. For starters, Cowser struggled mightily in his limited at bats at the majors last season, posting an OPS of just .434 in 26 games with just 2 extra base hits. Now I don't think that would be the main reason for moving on from Cowser, but trading him would be a much harder pill to swallow if he performed well in the majors last season.
The main reason why I think Cowser could be moved is because of the logjam the Orioles have in the outfield. Although Cowser could eventually become a more productive hitter then Cedric Mullins, Mullins is currently one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball and is an elite baserunner.
The Orioles also have veterans like Austin Hays and Anthony Santander in the corner outfield spots who are coming off of extremely productive seasons. Not to mention Heston Kjerstad who already looks like the lefty power hitter the Orioles need in the middle of their lineup.
With all of this being said, I could certainly see the Orioles holding onto Cowser. But if the Orioles are serious about contending and look to add another top-end starter through the trade market, Cowser could find himself as the centerpiece of that deal.
Joey Ortiz, INF
Ortiz is in a very similar scenario as Colton Cowser. Just like Cowser, Ortiz is coming off of a fantastic season at Triple-A Norfolk, but there might not be a spot for him on the roster. Ortiz is coming off of his best offensive season, where he hit .321 with an OPS just under .900 and elite defense all around the diamond. Ortiz was also up and down with the major league club but struggled to find his footing offensively at the major league level.
Ortiz seems to be too good for the minor leagues, but I don't think there is an everyday spot for Ortiz on the major league roster. Jordan Westburg had a solid showing in the majors this season and will most likely be the starting second baseman for the Orioles next season (may also play third base like he did this season). Gunnar Henderson is a superstar already and will most likely split time between shortstop and third base next season.
I think we can also assume that Jackson Holliday and Coby Mayo will be with the major league club at some point next season, which would effectively round out the infield. The Orioles could keep Ortiz as a utility infielder, but I feel like that would be limiting his value. I think many teams would value a defensive wizard with great bat-to-ball skills, meaning the O's could get a great return for him in a trade.
Connor Norby, 2B/OF
Norby ranks as the Orioles 7th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and sits just outside the top 100 for the whole league. Norby was another piece of the loaded Norfolk Tides team this season, serving as one of the top run producers on the team. Norby clubbed 21 home runs and drove in 92 runs this season while recording an OPS of .842.
Norby falls into the same category as Joey Ortiz in the sense that there just doesn't seem to be a clear spot for him in the infield this season. We could potentially see Norby carve out a role thanks to his outfield flexibility, but that would most likely require the O's to move on from one of their established corner outfielders like Hays or Santander.
I could see Norby being an additional piece in a big trade for the Orioles, or even the centerpiece if the O's decide to go a cheaper route like we've seen from them in the past. Norby is certainly a valuable piece since he's major league ready and just 23 years old.
Dylan Beavers, OF
Dylan Beavers could be a guy the Orioles hold on to and continue to develop over the next season or two, but I could see an opposing team valuing Beavers very highly in any trade talks. Beavers is coming off of a fantastic season between High-A and Double-A, posting an .850 OPS and 11 home runs across both levels.
Beavers is a really solid prospect who is already a very good all-around player. He's also continuing to trend in the right direction, hitting at every level of the minors so far and jumping all the way to number 9 on the Orioles top 30 prospect rankings after being drafted in 2022.
Although the Orioles probably don't want to move Beavers, I could see them pulling the trigger if it meant they could land an elite player. Beavers would be a very compelling secondary prospect to most teams in the trade market, meaning a player like him could bring the finishing touches to a deal for the O's.
Hudson Haskin, OF
Haskin is another player who the Orioles are going to have to make a decision on very soon. Haskin was solid at Triple-A Norfolk last season, playing great defense and slashing .268/.368/.463. But he played just 33 total games last season due to injury.
Haskin is another prospect who is very close to the majors, but the O's just don't have room for another outfielder on their roster. Haskin could be brought up as a fourth outfielder thanks to his great defense and speed, but they may decide to include him in a trade instead due to their surplus of outfield talent.
Haskin could be a very intriguing prospect for a rebuilding club in need of some high-upside, young players.
There's certainly a chance the O's hold onto some of these players due to Mike Elias's track record with dealing away prospects, but if the Orioles decide to get aggressive and make a trade, I think these 5 could be included in a deal.