Orioles Rumors: Baltimore on quest for rotation help with one prospect off the table

Baltimore is looking for starters, we promise. However, they are still keeping one curious prospect name out of negotiations for now.
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

While some teams' needs ahead of the trade deadline are somewhat nebulous and involve possible upgrades at multiple positions, the Baltimore Orioles' deadline goal is abundantly clear. With the news that Kyle Bradish's season is over after needing elbow surgery joining both John Means and Tyler Wells on the shelf for the rest of 2024, the Orioles need to add some real rotation depth.

As to what deals could happen, the Orioles have the prospect capital to complete almost any deal they want to. However, the Baltimore front office, led by Mike Elias, has been reluctant to part with top talent in the past, which could complicate the pursuit of the top names on the market like Garrett Crochet.

The latest reporting on the Orioles' early trade deadline maneuvering seems to confirm that the status quo will remain in place.

While Baltimore has been very active in trying to get moves for starters done, it sounds like they are keeping some of their top names off the table, including Coby Mayo, according to Roch Kubatko.

Orioles Rumors: Baltimore does not want to trade Coby Mayo for rotation help at the deadline

It was a given that Baltimore would not part with Jackson Holliday, as the above linked report also suggested. Holliday is one of the top prospects in baseball and, assuming he plays well now that he is back from his elbow injury, he is likely to get another chance in the big leagues in the second half at some point.

However, the report suggesting that Mayo is also off-limits is a little puzzling. Mayo's upside at the plate is undeniable, but he is far from a perfect prospect, and it is very unclear as to what his path to big league playing time with the Orioles actually is in the near future.

That said, Baltimore's thought process could easily be that between guys like Samuel Basallo, Heston Kjerstad, Seth Johnson, Enrique Bradfield Jr., and other prospects, they don't have to trade guys like Mayo that they are in love with to get what they need at the deadline. In fairness, they are probably right, unless we are talking about the absolute top of the trade market/arms with a lot of team control left.

Perhaps this is all tough talk to maintain leverage in negotiations and the Orioles could yield if the right deal for the right player came along. We will know in a month or so as to what Baltimore's plan actually is, but it had better including some pitching help or things could get ugly in the second half.

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