Latest Orioles pitching injury all but locks in Baltimore’s trade deadline plan

Hopefully Baltimore sees Grayson Rodriguez's injury as a warning that they can't be passive at the trade deadline.
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels
Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Early season injuries aren't good for any team, and it sure seems like there have been a lot of them around the league in 2024. However, the Baltimore Orioles have had the added misfortune of having their team's injuries come for an area of their 2024 roster where they couldn't afford to lose known quantities: their pitching staff.

Going into the offseason, pitching was the Orioles' most glaring need, which is exactly why they swung the trade with the Brewers for Corbin Burnes. However, the rest of their moves, in both the rotation and bullpen, were bandaids on a larger problem, and that is Baltimore's lack of depth when it came to arms.

Even though their rotation is getting healthy again with Kyle Bradish returning from the IL along with John Means, Grayson Rodriguez hitting the Injured List with shoulder trouble should make the Orioles' plan at the trade deadline very clear.

Baltimore simply has to go get more pitching depth at the trade deadline this year

Assuming everything goes right the rest of the way, the Orioles could be fine this year. If Bradish and Means come back and shove and Rodriguez's shoulder ends up being a non-issue, Baltimore has enough pitching to make a deep postseason run. However, these early season injuries are a reminder that betting on a few pitchers staying healthy all year long is a bad bet to make.

The trouble comes in finding actual difference-makers for the Orioles to target. Weirdly enough, a pair of the arms that the Orioles probably should have targeted this offseason, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, might be the best options available if their teams continue to struggle while they're on short-term deals.

Max Fried is the best non-Burnes arm that is set to hit free agency this offseason, but the Braves are almost certainly not going to be selling at the deadline. The most likely option is that the Orioles could have to settle for some back of the rotation help and some bullpen arms once the deadline arrives.

Still, the Orioles simply cannot afford to do nothing at the deadline this year. Even if their pitching staff is healthy, they HAVE to add some more arms to weather the stretch run. Windows of contention are precious, even for a team as young and good as the Orioles are, and squandering them in a very preventable way shouldn't be on the table.

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