The All Star Game is behind us, which means the trade deadline is the next big date on the MLB calendar. Rumors start flying every year, and for a team like the Orioles that are in the buyer category for the first time in a long time, the pitching staff is the clear area to upgrade at the deadline.
As such, the Orioles will have to part with pieces at the major or minor league level, or perhaps both to get a deal done. One piece that could be included in such a trade is outfielder Kyle Stowers.
Could Kyle Stowers be moved at the trade deadline?
Before I go any farther, I would like to clarify that this is not based off any report, nor is this a report by me. This is pure speculation on my part, as I believe that he could be a piece moved at the deadline. We now return to your regularly scheduled story reading.
Stowers could very well by a piece that gets moved at the trade deadline, but it won't be because of anything he did. There's just no current path or room for Stowers at the major league level right now. Heck, there's already 14 position players on the major league roster right now.
What has happened this season is that Stowers has been jumped by some of the Orioles top prospects. When Cedric Mullins went down with an injury, Aaron Hicks was signed. Colton Cowser was called up just before the All Star Break. Ryan McKenna fills the role of backup outfielder just fine.
The only way Stowers comes up to the majors right now is if a couple outfielders go down with injuries. Even then, he'd probably be a backup outfielder when the best way to continue his development is giving him every day at-bats. Baltimore can't give him that in the majors right now.
The Orioles have eight outfielders on the 40 man roster, five of which are in the majors. Ryan O'Hearn is also able to play the outfield. Ryan McKenna is clearly ahead of Stowers on the depth chart. You could make the case that Terrin Vavra is also ahead of Stowers on the depth chart. Heston Kjerstad and Hudson Haskin, while not on the 40 man roster, are hitting the ball well at Triple A and could start knocking on the door for a callup.
Also, Stowers hasn't made the most of the playing time he's received. I can count the number of hits and walks he has at the major league level this year with one hand. Last year, he showed promise with a .253/.306/.418 slash line, but even that wasn't with a lot of playing time.
In Triple A this season, Stowers has been good, slashing .313/.423/.598 in 32 games, adding 10 home runs and 29 RBIs, plus 19 walks in 112 at bats. He's clearly playing well enough to earn major league playing time, but there is none available for him in Baltimore.
As such, a trade, while unlikely, could very well happen. Teams will be interested because he has less than a year of big league service time, is making close to the minimum, and isn't arbitration eligible until 2027. That plus his flashes in 2022 make him an appealing trade target.
Again, I'll say that a trade of Kyle Stowers at the trade deadline is unlikely and probably won't happen. But its clear that he is ready for a bigger run in the major leagues, and Baltimore can't provide him that oportunity right now. That makes it possible that he could be moved. Not because of anything he did, but because he doesn't have a path to the majors right now.