Orioles make confusing trade to bring back former infield prospect

The Orioles made a head-scratching move on Monday night, bringing back someone they moved on from a year ago
May 31, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Tigers designated hitter Tyler Nevins (18) hits a ball during a game at Comerica Park
May 31, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Tyler Nevins (18) hits a ball during a game at Comerica Park / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever moves Mike Elias and the Orioles front office do or don't make over the course of a season or offseason, there's almost always something outside the box they come up with, and this move is a perfect example of that.

On Monday, the Orioles announced that they traded cash considerations to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for infielder Tyler Nevin after the Tigers had DFA'd him a few days prior, bringing the 2015 first round pick back to the team he made his MLB debut. This one is certainly a head scratcher.

Orioles make puzzling trade to bring back Tyler Nevin

There are a few reasons why this doesn't make sense. Number one is that Tyler Nevin isn't particularly good. Over 64 games with the Orioles, he had a .205/.312/.292 slash line with three home runs, six doubles, and just 35 total hits in 272 plate appearances. With the Tigers, he had 19 hits and two home runs in 111 plate appearances over 41 games.

Reason two is that the Orioles already have a crowded infield, so where does Nevin factor into any of that? Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westburg, and Ramón Urías have third base locked down pretty well. Ryan O'Hearn and Ryan Mountcastle occupy first base.

Even the outfield, which Nevin has played a little of, is jam packed with both MLB regulars and top prospects waiting in the wings. Even the prospects on the cusp of debuting in the majors should be of higher priority to the Orioles than Tyler Nevin.

Number three is that this exact same trade was made over a year ago, with the Orioles trading Nevin to the Tigers around the new year after they DFA'd him, in exchange for cash considerations. The fact that this is a net zero for both teams given that it was the same trade twice also doesn't benefit everyone.

Tyler Nevin just isn't anything more than a depth infielder. That's fine if that's what this was, but the Orioles have plenty of depth infielders as it is and top prospects will be looking to come up soon. Nevin doesn't have minor league options left, so he seems like the typical outright off the 40 man roster just before opening day. Even still, this one just doesn't make any sense.