MLB insider pitches Heston Kjerstad trade Orioles fans won't love

Heston Kjerstad could be on the move at the trade deadline, but this expert's trade idea is just not it.
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

With the Baltimore Orioles off to a hot start and in their rightful position atop the AL East, fans' focus is now turning to ways the team needs to entertain to keep it that way. While the vast majority of the Orioles' roster looks set for the foreseeable future, with plenty of position player replacements at the ready in the minors just in case, Baltimore's pitching staff, both the rotation and bullpen, could really use some more depth for the stretch run, especially if Grayson Rodriguez has any setbacks.

Now that we are in the month of May, there are fans and experts alike that are starting to weigh in on what some of the moves the Orioles (and others) could make at the trade deadline. Well, one such expert, The Athletic's Jim Bowden, has a very...interesting trade idea to address the Orioles' bullpen and it involves the Cleveland Guardians.

The Athletic's Orioles-Guardians trade proposal doesn't make sense for either team

In Bowden's piece, he pitches the idea that the Orioles should send Heston Kjerstad, one of the best position player prospects in all of baseball, for a pair of the Guardians' young relievers in Hunter Gaddis and Cade Smith. Yes, this gives the Guardians a (blocked-ish) bat and nets the Orioles some relievers who are having good seasons in 2024, but that is where things stop making sense.

Kjerstad should absolutely be on the table in trade talks this year. He is barely playing right now after the Orioles called him up to the big leagues in April, and he has nothing left to prove in the minors, so using him as a trade piece makes a lot of sense.

However, Kjerstad needs to be the headliner in a big-time move as he is extremely valuable. Trading him for a pair of relievers with little track record of big league success (Smith is a rookie with 16 total appearances, and Gaddis' previous seasons' work in the big leagues was spotty at best) feels awfully wasteful, even when you consider the team control Gaddis and Smith have.

On top of that, it is unclear why the Guardians would make this move, either. Cleveland has been pretty fortunate to have gotten as far as they have this season with as little as they have, but the biggest reason WHY they have done so well is because they have had the best bullpen in the league. Why would they give up two of their cheapest (which is a big consideration for the Guardians) and best bullpen arms when they can lean on that strength in 2024 instead, especially right after they called up masher Kyle Manzardo?

Could Kjerstad be included in a deal at the deadline that could beef up Baltimore's pitching staff? Absolutely, and it may very well be the thing that they need to do. However, forcing a trade pairing between two obvious buyer candidates on the move that doesn't make sense beyond "team needs hitter, other team needs pitching" misses the mark.

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