Looking ahead to the trade deadline and possible ramifications for the Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Looking ahead to the trade deadline and possible ramifications for the Orioles

The trade deadline is a week away. By July 31 at 4 p.m., we’ll have a better idea of what the Orioles will look like for the rest of 2019, and for 2020.

While some fans were disappointed that the Orioles didn’t get players closer to major-league ready when they traded Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox on July 13, the deal did address a need.

The Orioles acquired two 17-year-olds for their Dominican Summer League teams. While they signed 27 teenagers from Latin America on July 2, none of them will play this summer.

General manager Mike Elias and international scouting director Koby Perez acknowledge that it will take time for the Orioles to be on equal footing with other teams.

Adding to their talent base is necessary, and while infielder Noelberth Romero and outfielder Elio Prado are hardly sure things to play in the majors, the Orioles must acquire international players by the dozens to be competitive.

Cashner, Dylan Bundy and John Means are major league starters, and Elias acknowledged upon dealing Cashner that other pitchers would get an opportunity to establish themselves as major league starters.

No one expected a rotation of Bundy, Means, Aaron Brooks, Tom Eshelman and Asher Wojciechowski. And, if the Orioles trade Bundy, which I don’t think they will, it would make that rotation even harder to fill.

The pitcher most likely to be dealt is reliever Mychal Givens, who is still drawing interest despite his struggles this season. While the Cashner deal came together quickly, a Givens deal, which seems likely, is being examined more methodically.

Cashner is a potential free agent, and the market for rental players wasn’t huge, Elias said. Givens still has two more years under club control and could bring back more mature prospects than Cashner did.


Givens thrived as a secondary bullpen piece for the Orioles. With Zack Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O’Day ahead of him, Givens was comfortable and produced well.

In the year since Givens assumed the closer’s role, he’s produced well at times, but seems more suited to being a set-up man.

If Givens is dealt, manager Brandon Hyde would have to decide whether he’d like a closer to take Givens’ place, or mix-and-match. The guess here is that Hyde wouldn’t designate a closer. Shawn Armstrong, Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro and Paul Fry each have saves this season.

Last year, it was just assumed that Givens would close in the absence of Britton, Brach and O’Day. This year, no assumptions will be made.

Branden Kline and Evan Phillips each has had multiple stints with the club this season, but both are back with Triple-A Norfolk and don’t seem to have the experience, or effectiveness, to fit into the closer’s role.

Hunter Harvey, the team’s top draft choice in 2013, is finally healthy. Harvey was moved to the bullpen at Double-A Bowie and excelled in that role. Since he was promoted to Norfolk, Harvey hasn’t been as good.

It will be interesting to see whether the Orioles give him a chance in their bullpen this season or focus instead on him making it through an entire season without injury for the first time in his professional career.

Another interesting option is Dillon Tate. At the time of the Britton trade last season, Tate was considered the best pitcher acquired from the New York Yankees.

The other two pitchers in the deal, Josh Rogers and Cody Carroll, have had injury issues. Rogers recently underwent Tommy John surgery, and Carroll hasn’t pitched this season because of a back injury.

Tate didn’t do well as a starter late last season with Double-A Bowie. He returned to the Baysox this season, and since moving to the bullpen, Tate has been outstanding.

Another trade candidate is Jonathan Villar, who’s played both second base and shortstop this season. Villar has another season before he can become a free agent, but Elias might balk at paying him $6-$7 million next season.

The four players Hyde is using to cover second, third and short — Villar, Hanser Alberto, Richie Martin and Rio Ruiz — have shown durability; none has missed time for injuries.

Because of that, Jace Peterson and several other infielders with major league experience have been stuck in Norfolk. Peterson was named the International League’s Batter of the Week on July 15. Later that day, he invoked his opt-out clause, was released by the Orioles and re-signed later in the week.

Peterson could be Villar’s replacement if he’s traded.

Elias has said he would listen to offers on any player, but it would be a surprise if the Orioles traded Trey Mancini. With three more years of club control, it seems unlikely that another club could entice the Orioles with a package strong enough to tempt them to deal Mancini.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Bhoffman1

    July 24, 2019 at 7:12 am

    I would hope Steve Wilkerson would be Villars replacement at 2nd base. I would hope to see some Bowie guys have a shot to start this year but I know that’s dreaming. Davis 0-4 last night 4 strikeouts. Blocking Mountcastle from being here. Until he is released I know that Elias could care less about winning ball games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 24, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Bruce, Wilkerson could fill that role. Peterson could take Villar’s roster spot.

    • ClayDal

      July 24, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      Rich, Orioles option Ruiz and Peterson not playing for Norfolk tonight. Coincidence?

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 24, 2019 at 7:55 am

    I’ve said it before, but I don’t think trading Mancini would return much more that a bag of donuts in terms of talent. As great as Trey as been for the O’s, let’s face it, he’s a 1st baseman by trade, and his numbers really are only slighty better than pedestrian when compared to other 1st basemen around MLB. Besides, do you really want to trade the player that’s become the face of the franchise during this transitional periord? Got to keep the fans invested in a player or two don’t you? No … Mancini stays at least for this year.

    And I’d rather they keep Villar … unless of course Minnesota wants give up Schoop. Despite being a buddy of Machado’s, I miss that boy.

    Givens? Who cares? Seems to me he’s on the downside of his career.

    Other than that, everybody except for Sisco & Santander are up for sale. To parapharse the immortal Lou brown .. “there might be a future all-star or 2 there”.

    BTW … which of y’all commenters were giving me a hard time about touting Anthony Santander a few weeks back year? Claimed that I kept falling back to what he did in Bowie in 2017? Well what do you think of him now? The boy is a stud.

    • SpinMaster

      July 24, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Boog, it wasn’t me who was giving you the “business” about Santander. He certainly looks like he has found whatever it is that major leaguers find when they start to produce on a regular basis. What I have been saying the last month or so is, I like an outfield of Stewart in left, Wilkerson in center and Santander in right. Trey would be the regular first baseman with Villar (as long as he is here) at second, Martin at short and a platoon of Ruiz and Alberto at third.

  3. Fareastern89

    July 24, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Any explanations, Rich, for Harvey’s continued struggles? Is it simply a lack of experience — something that will be resolved with more innings pitched, since he really hasn’t thrown that much since he was drafted? Or is there something else going on? Do you get any sense of unease from the organization about this?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 24, 2019 at 8:31 am

      I think the organization’s priority is to get him through the season healthy, which has never happened, and build up his innings.

      Fareastern, he’s shown positive signs at Bowie, so I think they’re just going to be patient here.

    • ClayDal

      July 24, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Harvey has only pitched 5 games at Norfolk. Any time you go up one level there can be an adjustment period. Many players in AAA have MLB experience. I checked the Norfolk roster and counted 17 players who have played in the majors. The fact that they are in Norfolk now indicates that they all weren’t tremendously successful. I checked 1 other team the Pirates AAA affiliate called the Indians for some reason and they have 19. Let Harvey finish the year at Norfolk and hope he adjusts at the higher level and stays healthy. He’s on the 40 man roster so they can recall him in September when the rosters expand

  4. Orial

    July 24, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Agree about SantanDARE. The OF seems to be shaping “around” Him. Villar is very expendable. K’s too much,careless on the base paths,occasional pop. But yes he has a little spark. Givens—gone. I would keep Wilkerson in the OF mix and call up Peterson(much deserved) to replace Villar. Also agree with Boog’s assessment of Mancini. Anyone notice that Nunez got another look at 3rd base last night? If he can cut it there(I doubt it) it would be a big boost for both him and the O’s. ALSO–a DH opening for Trumbo OR better yet–a chance for Mountcastle. In a nutshell–Givens,Villar gone,Mancini,Bundy stay.

  5. DavisHasToGo

    July 24, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Just when you think Mendoza……..the Golden Sombrero.

    What an absolute waste. Playing 8 vs 10 every game is getting tiresome.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 24, 2019 at 10:44 am

      You my friend, are preaching to the choir. Love your moniker too.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 24, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Such a shame that this guy is still on this team. At the very least dinner should be on him every night for the whole staff and team

  6. Birdman

    July 24, 2019 at 10:19 am

    With Means starting today, O’s positioned to win their 4th series since June 28 … team does seem to be making progress, albeit in fits and starts . . . Crush remains an albatross

  7. Bancells Moustache

    July 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Count me among those that sees no purpose in dealing Givens right now. He was bad at the start of the year, now he is average. They still have quite a bit of control over him and it’s not like they are going to get a big haul for him, why not keep him and if he starts dealing in the second half, sell high on him over the winter? I hate to say it, but if your big trade chip is Mychal Givens, you don’t have any trade chips.

    Also, it should be noted that while Harvey hasn’t looked sharp in Norfolk, no one has looked sharp in AAA since they are using the same jackrabbit ball the Bigs are., which of course has not been modified in any way and it’s totally organic that home runs have sprung up just when MLB has ratings problems.

    • Borg

      July 24, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      I think Givens has more trade value now than over the winter for the exact reason you state that he doesn’t-his numbers are not going to be impressive. But teams fighting for the post-season and lacking a set-up man in their bullpen are going to ignore some of the overall numbers in light of his unquestioned arm and his past performances in that role. If you are a team that feels you might be one piece or two away from the postseason, a veteran reliever like Givens does have value, enough to make you surrender prospects to get him into your uniform. If you are building your bullpen over the winter, I’m not sure how a reliever who winds up with a 4.00+ ERA fits into your future plans. Value changes because of context, and the context is that some teams need bullpen help RIGHT NOW to make the postseason. Over the winter they’re just as likely to dip into free agency as deal prospects.

  8. WorldlyView

    July 24, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I still think Cashner was traded prematurely. Given the less than awesome players received in return, I believe it would have made more sense to wait a week or two or three. A contending team might have seen (or will see) a starting pitcher injured and be hungrier for Cashner than the Bosox. Putting aside my skepticism on the odds of major league success for 17 year-olds, I have a problem with the TIMING of Cashner’s trade.
    Another question: why was Crush last night batting ahead of Alberto, a .300 hitter?

  9. willmiranda

    July 24, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    There”s obviously nothing to get excited about with the trade deadline. The O’s have a few more or less competent players, and other teams are not going to offer anything serious in return. It’s fun to fantasize about the futures of seventeen-year-olds or other “prospects” we might receive, but nothing to change the near future. Cashner was a pre-emptive salary dump against his completing enough innings for an option next year. Any moves would be change for the sake of change to make the front office look busy. Frankly, I’ve gotten used to the guys mentioned for trading, and the team seems to be gelling of late, so I don’t see much value in trades.

    • Fdog3

      July 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Givens is great in the 7th or 8th…..keep him and find a closer between Tate and Harvey….Trade Mancini now so Stewart and Hays can play and leave Mr. Renato…
      Dobo…dobo…..in the field at 3rd.. and bring up the Mount.

  10. Bhoffman1

    July 24, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Well Chris Davis only struck out three times today. An improvement.

    • WorldlyView

      July 24, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      What is the deal with this guy? Is it mental? I can’t imagine his physical skills could have deteriorated so far in a relatively short period of time. Maybe his eyesight is declining.

    • Raymo

      July 24, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      Go Chris!! No, really. Please, just go, Chris.

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