MLB insider's blockbuster trade proposal is not the right fit for the Orioles

Any contender would be lucky to have Garrett Crochet, but is the young southpaw worth one of the Orioles' top prospects?
Chicago White Sox v Miami Marlins
Chicago White Sox v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

As the trade deadline approaches, one thing is abundantly clear: the Orioles need pitching. Injuries to starters and inconsistency among relievers have put Baltimore in a bit of a bind, despite leading the division, and nearly every trade market analysis has the team angling for pitching talent. How big of a risk will the Orioles take, and how much will they be willing to spend?

In his latest mailbag article, Jim Bowen of The Athletic proposed an intriguing swap with the White Sox. The Orioles would pick up Garrett Crochet and Tommy Pham in exchange for catching prospect Samuel Basallo. Could Baltimore entertain a deal that sends off a rising star in their farm system in exchange for a controllable strikeout machine (and a bit of outfield depth)? Sure. Should they? Absolutely not.

Trading a top prospect for what could be a flash-in-the-pan starter may come back to bite the Orioles

While Crochet has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, he is still a largely unknown quantity. This is his first year as a starter, and the White Sox have already discussed limiting his innings. By the All-Star break, he will have more than doubled his innings pitched in any other season. The Orioles are poised to make a run deep into October, and a young pitcher on a pitch count could be a liability in the postseason.

On the plus side, Crochet has two more years of arbitration before becoming a free agent and the Orioles’ championship window is just opening. Considering John Means and Kyle Bradish will likely miss next season, signing a starter with multiple contract years left is a must for Baltimore. The market has its fair share of veterans that fit the bill and will come at a lower price. Crochet’s teammate Erick Fedde, for example, and Toronto’s Chris Bassitt are signed through the 2025 season and, while not power pitchers like Crochet, could provide ample quality innings.

Even if the Orioles make a play for Crochet, Basallo is too high a price. The Orioles have already indicated that Coby Mayo may be off the table. Why shop a player at a premium position with versatility who has a better average exit velocity than most of Baltimore’s Major League roster?

Basallo is just 19 years old and likely won’t make it to the Majors until late 2025. Additionally, he’s blocked by Adley Rutschman behind the plate. Still, Basallo, part of Elias’s shift to the international market, continues to improve and has the capability to man first base. He has jumped 30 spots on both the Baseball America and MLB prospect rankings in the last year alone. His value, either as a trade chip or as a part of the Orioles’ roster, is still on the rise. It’s time for Baltimore to hold.