Orioles top prospect's 2024 power surge might've removed him from trade market

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Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles v Pittsburgh Pirates / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have a boatload of young prospects in their minor league system. One such exciting name is infielder Coby Mayo. The 22-year-old third baseman is the No. 3 ranked prospect in Baltimore's system by MLB Pipeline, and plays an extremely crowded position.

The Orioles are understandably high on him. He put together a strong season last year, hitting 29 home runs in 504 at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk.

He's getting even better this year, though. Through his first 213 at-bats in 2024, Mayo had already mashed 19 home runs. Despite obvious needs and a few blocked-up MLB roles, the Orioles are reportedly reticent to use him as potential trade bait as they assess the needs of their roster at the trade deadline.

In essence, Mayo's increased slugging gave the Orioles a sell-high opportunity ... but concurrently convinced them to believe in the kid even more strongly.

Orioles' prospect Coby Mayo's breakout season continues

The biggest need for the Orioles at the trade deadline is pitching. They have three starters in Kyle Bradish, John Means, and Tyler Wells, each out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Mayo could theoretically be used in a trade for somebody like Chicago White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet, who has emerged as a legitimate ace and could fit in nicely next to Corbin Burnes. It seems the O's would rather use someone like catcher Samuel Basallo instead.

Bullpen help is something the Orioles could also look into. They could scour the market for Mason Miller or Ryan Helsley to bolster the back end of their 'pen and use Basallo as part of the package for one of those two. Miller is unlikely to move, but Basallo could be the perfect centerpiece of a potential Helsley trade if the Cardinals pivot.

Either way, it's curious the O's are keeping Mayo off limits, given the way the big-league depth chart is currently situated. Jordan Westburg is currently handling third base duties, and doing so at an All-Star level.

Sure, the Orioles could also keep him around and move Westburg to second base, but ... Jackson Holliday? Gunnar Henderson at short? It's not so easy. If Baltimore wants to make a big trade, the package is going to have to include at least a few top prospects, and one could argue that Mayo is nearly as blocked as Basallo (Adley Rutschman).

We'll see how the deadline plays out for the Orioles and if they'll entertain any alterations to this idea.