Orioles Rumors: O's, Dodgers could compete to complete Tarik Skubal blockbuster

Baltimore is among the possible teams that could pull off what would probably be the biggest trade of the deadline if one insider is to be believed.
Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers
Philadelphia Phillies v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
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Stop us if you have heard this before, but the Baltimore Orioles need more starting pitching ahead of the trade deadline. Losing Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells, and John Means to season-ending injuries has been a brutal series of blows to an otherwise excellent Orioles roster. Fortunately, few organizations are as well-equipped in terms of prospects to make any trade they want to as the Orioles currently are.

While most of the pitchers that are very clearly available at the trade deadline are more stopgap types than true difference makers, there are a couple that stand out as potential frontline starters. There have already been connections made between the Orioles and a trade for Garrett Crochet, but another left-handed name that has popped up more recently is Tigers ace Tarik Skubal.

Up until recently, the idea that the Tigers would even make Skubal available was unlikely, as not only is he a 2024 Cy Young favorite, but he has two years of arbitration control left after this season for a Tigers team that seems to be flirting with contention soon. However, Jim Bowden's recent column for The Athletic suggested a quick pivot instead, and intimatedthe Orioles could very much be in the running for Skubal's services.

If you enjoyed that sentence, you might not like this one so much: so could the Dodgers.

Orioles one of few teams that could actually entice Detroit to trade Tarik Skubal

While a trade for Skubal would be a massive trade deadline blockbuster, the idea behind it is actually very straightforward. The Tigers don't have to trade Skubal, and there is probably a much better argument that Detroit should hang on to him and try to extend him if they plan on contending over the next couple of years. However, Bowden highlighted both Baltimore as well as the (barf) Dodgers as two organizations who are right in their competitive windows who have the assets to give the Tigers an offer that they may not be able to refuse.

As for whether or not the Orioles would or even should do so is an entirely different matter. Based on the need to blow the Tigers away with a trade package, you can expect some combination of prospects Heston Kjerstad, Samuel Basallo, and/or Coby Mayo to be in anu proposed deal. That is a heavy price to pay for any player, but Cy Young caliber pitchers with arbitration control are not available on the trade market very often, and the Orioles NEED rotation help at the trade deadline.

With all of these prospects stockpiled in the minor leagues without a clear path to playing time, this could be the kind of move that the Orioles have been waiting for. Skubal is a bonafide frontline starter who would form a fearsome 1-2 punch with Corbin Burnes at the front of the 2024 rotation, as well as Burnes' heir once he somewhat inevitably leaves in free agency. Skubal is cost-controlled, plays a position of need, and is, crucially, extremely good. Pitchers are always a risk, but this may be an opportunity that the Orioles cannot afford to let pass them by, even if a deal ultimately can't get to the finish line.

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