What will the 2019 Orioles look like? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

What will the 2019 Orioles look like?

BALTIMORE—The 2018 season still has 41 games remaining, and the Orioles will use those games to evaluate who has a chance to play for the 2019 version.

Only two players are free agents, Adam Jones and Craig Gentry, who’s completing a minor league rehabilitation stint.

There are four under contract for 2019: Chris Davis, Andrew Cashner,  Alex Cobb and Mark Trumbo.

Six are eligible for arbitration: Tim Beckham, Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens, Caleb Joseph, Jace Peterson and Jonathan Villar.

The rest of the Orioles are under club control for next year and years beyond.

Which of these Orioles are likely to be back for 2019?

Of those under contract, the four years remaining on Davis’ seven-year, $161-million contract renders him untradable while Cobb’s guaranteed him a no-trade clause for the first year of a four-year, $57-million deal, and limited no-trade protection for the succeeding three years.

Cashner, who has a year remaining on a two-year, $16-million deal, could be traded to a pitching-hungry team, but the Orioles do need starters for next season, and he and Cobb have been getting stronger.

The Orioles would love to be able to deal Trumbo, even before the end of August, but the $13.5-million salary for 2019 may prove too much for a power-hitting DH.


The players eligible for arbitration might be even trickier. Beckham is making $3.35 million in his first year of eligibility for arbitration, and his 2019 price could rise to perhaps $5 million, which might be more than the Orioles are willing to pay during a rebuild.

Bundy, whose name was mentioned during last month’s trade chatter, is unlikely to be dealt unless the Orioles are blown away by an offseason offer.

He has three years of club control left, and if the Orioles can improve by his final year of arbitration in 2021, Bundy may be a key part of an improved starting staff.

Givens’ name was also a popular one ahead of the trade deadline, but the Orioles do need a closer, and early returns have been promising. He has three years of arbitration eligibility.

Joseph is an interesting case. He hasn’t performed well offensively this season, but the Orioles’ catching hope, Chance Sisco, has been a huge disappointment in his time in the major leagues, and he’s languished at Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles had hoped that Sisco would have assumed the regular catcher’s job by now, but Joseph, who made a bargain $1.25 million this year, could be back in 2019.

Peterson was thought to be a stopgap pickup when the Orioles snatched him off waivers April 24, but he’s remained on the roster for nearly four months.

Manager Buck Showalter likes the gritty utility player, though his $3-million salary is likely to rise in arbitration, and the Orioles are unlikely to want to pay that much for a multi-tasker, especially if rookie Steve Wilkerson is healthy.

Jonathan Villar, who was obtained from Milwaukee in the Jonathan Schoop trade, is making $2.25 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility, and he seems likely to return.

How will the Orioles fill out their roster in 2019?

Many of the players given a look in August and September will be on the roster come next April. Some who won’t get called up Sept. 1, could make the team next spring.

Of course, we don’t know if Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette and Showalter will return in 2019, but it seems unlikely under any administration that the team will be a major player in free agency.

The Orioles could sign some infielders to one-year bridge contracts, and with some openings in the starting staff, some starters could be lured on one-year deals. If they’re doing well next July, they could be flipped for more prospects, But inexpensive deals should rule.

Under Duquette, the Orioles have been baseball’s heaviest user of the Rule 5 draft, which has produced Joey Rickard and Pedro Araujo on the current team. Araujo who has been on the disabled list for more than two months with a right elbow injury, could return in September.

It will be interesting to see if they’ll continue to employ the Rule 5 draft or if they think the farm system has been producing enough prospects of their own so that its importance can be minimized.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. PA Bird Lover

    August 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm


  2. Ekim

    August 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    What will the O’s look like? With this bunch it doesn’t much matter. They’ll probably push some of the younger players up before they’re ready so we’ll end up with a revolving door much like this year. We have a chance to have seen 60 or more players this year. Sorry to say it but it’ll be the same next year. Too many in the minors have gaping holes in their play to be real factors. BTW: Did anyone notice that the 3 pitchers used at Frederick last night had ERA’s of 8.42 or more? This is what we have to look forward to?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Ekim, rebuilding isn’t easy, and many of the players you’re thinking of will end up being placeholders. It will be a fascinating, and not easy time to be a fan.

  3. Orial

    August 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Ekim you do have constant “positive attitude.” (Sarcasm)The sky isn’t falling. It probably will be similar BUT I do expect more speed and better defense which immediately makes for improvement. 2020 is the year of change.

    • cedar

      August 15, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      I agree Orial. I expect more speed and better defense which in turn should protect the pitchers and give them confidence to attack the plate.

      • Rich Dubroff

        August 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

        Orial and cedar, I think the Orioles will be somewhat better next year, but will take until 2021 until real progress can be measured.

  4. Beeb

    August 15, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    A sea of change! Hopefully that includes a new manager. It appears that DD will be back. Not my choice. I could type on that for many paragraphs.

    But I grew up in an era of Earl Weaver. He would just shake his head at Frightened Buck. Buck is afraid of not playing veterans, using his full bullpen “out of order”, letting his starters have length, and playing youth. Each of the statements I could support.

    And…using analytics. Hello Mark Trumbo hitting…when not DH.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Beeb, it will be fascinating to see what happens in the next several weeks with Duquette and Showalter.


      August 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      I grew up in the Earl Weaver era too and I loved Earl. But let’s be real. Earl had incredible talent to work with. Earl wasn’t a genius after his comeback because he didn’t have the talent anymore.

  5. Chewy

    August 15, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Look to sign three type of players for 2019:
    1) Players with plus defense to give confidence to a young pitching staff
    2) Low risk, high reward pitchers
    3) Up to three veterans with leadership qualities to help the young players AND can be flipped for prospects in July

    • TheGreat8

      August 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      I don’t know why any veteran worth his salt (read someone with trade value) would want to come here to play on a terrible team, especially knowing they may be traded in a few months.

      • Rich Dubroff

        August 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm

        Chewy, I think those are laudable goals, and Great8, if you remember this past offseason, there were some highly competent players looking for work, and that may be the same this coming winter.

  6. deqalt

    August 15, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Trading Trumbo some how would be a great start. Allows Mancini to play 1st and Davis DH.

    • OsfansinWV

      August 15, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Davis (DH)??? Now that’s FUNNY!!!!

      • deqalt

        August 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        Where would you like him to play? We are stuck with him for 4 years

        • OsfansinWV

          August 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

          If he’s gonna be taking up a spot in the lineup he may as well play 1st. He’s actually a pretty decent 1st baseman. Can’t have a DH batting.160, defeats the purpose of having a DH. Just let the pitcher hit if that’s the case, they’ll bat .160 and hit a HR every 50-75 at-bats

          • deqalt

            August 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm

            This has zero to do with Davis and his lack of DH value. If Mancini is in left then player like DJ Stewart can’t play outfield. Who cares if Davis is batting .150 at 1st or DH. There not winning in 2019. It’s all about opening spots for younger players. Mancini is not a good LF and is the future 1st baseman.

        • Rich Dubroff

          August 15, 2018 at 8:05 pm

          deqalt, I think the Orioles will have to very creative to trade Trumbo. He has some value, and has played well this season.

  7. OsfansinWV

    August 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    In my honest opinion, I think they’ll be a much improved team next year! This club just needs for this season to be over and clear their heads and forget about this funk they’ve been in all season. No one expected them to be this bad. It’s gonna be a rebuild year but I think they’ll overachieve next season! Fanfest should be interesting this winter with all the familiar faces not there.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 15, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      WV, I think next season will be fascinating. This year has been interesting, but in the wrong ways.

  8. SteveG in Pikesville

    August 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Rich, I agree that the O’s don’t need to add prospects via the Rule 5. However, after close looks at the contending teams’ farm systems this year they may not be able to resist getting a good prospect from the yanks, dodgers or phillies since they can’t protect everyone those teams want to after making up their Yearend rosters

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 15, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Steve, I think the Orioles may still draft in the Rule 5, but I can’t see them starting next season with three Rule 5 draft picks on their roster.

  9. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    August 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I think the Orioles will make finding a shortstop in the free agent market a priority. They don’t have anyone ready in the minors to play there. This would help shore up the middle of the infield pairing with Villar. Someone on the lines of a Freddy Galvis or Jose Iglesias would be an improvement. I don’t expect to see Tim Beckham return . His defense at both 3rd and SS have been shaky coupled with poor base running and hitting. Also, I don’t see Gentry returning either. They have numerous outfield prospects that are younger with more upside. The Orioles should bring Jones back to mentor some of the younger players like Mullins and others. However, it seems unlikely at this point. I see Joseph and Wynns as the catchers. Chance Sisco is just not ready at this point to be on the roster. The rest of the roster will depend on how some of the acquired prospects fair as noted when they are called up in August and September.

  10. Rich Dubroff

    August 15, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    You make some excellent points, Grand Strand.

  11. Ikeepem

    August 16, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Dan, if he is still here, would never pass up Rule 5, that’s his Disneyland.

  12. Maka

    August 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Rebuilding is not an excuse to play bad baseball. Let’s put the best possible team on the field. The goal should still be to field a good defensive team that can minimize extra outs. It will improve the pitching. We also need guys that make that contact, minimize strikeouts and can manufacture runs. Although he strikes out a fair amount, I would keep Trumbo strictly as the DH to retain an offensive threat in the middle of the lineup. With all of the salaries coming off of the books, the O’s can afford to cut Davis. We should let Beckham go after the season and sign good defensive short stop or make him a utility player. We should keep Cobb and Cashner as we still need guys that actually know how to pitch. Lastly, I would retain Buck and get rid of DD. I am not sure he is the one to oversee the rebuild. He indicated that Cody Carroll and Evan Phillips were close to being major league ready. So far it is hard to tell because neither can throw strikes. Also he handled the potential trade of AJ very poorly. I am not convinced he is the right guy to assess talent and lead the rebuild. May take much longer with DD leading this effort.

  13. PCampanaris

    August 29, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Peter, How about ( for once ) Stop thinking of your self ( your pockets) and start thinking of the people ( who are the ones, putting their hard earned money, into your pocket ) the Orioles Fans, and spend “a lot “ of that money, on some PROVEN TALENT, for Buck to work with. Who knows, you might be putting More Money, into your Pockets. If you can’t “make our day”, Then Please Please “Sell the team, to someone Who Cares.


    September 3, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Next years team should include Adam Jones. The Orioles should do the right thing and keep him on the roster. He would be a strong influence on the younger players. Mark Trumbo doesnt need to be here. He doesnt contribute much and he has no position.

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