Orioles GM Elias says Marlins had wanted Bleier for some time - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles GM Elias says Marlins had wanted Bleier for some time

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—The trade of relief pitcher Richard Bleier wouldn’t have been surprising had it occurred a month later, on August 31, at this year’s trade deadline. But the Orioles moved quickly to move the 33-year-old left-hander to the Miami Marlins after Friday’s game for a player to be named later.

The player that the Orioles will receive is not in Miami’s 60-man player pool because minor leaguers not on that list can’t be traded this season.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said that the Marlins, who’ve had at least 18 players test positive for Covid-19, had liked Bleier for some time.

“Before their most recent crisis began, they had had interest in Richard,” Elias said in a video conference call on Saturday.

“With our position right now as a rebuilding team, we’re listening to everything, particularly with a veteran reliever like that. There’s interest from other clubs at times and we explore it. He’s occupied a very prominent place in the recent history of the team. He’s been a part of some good runs here.

“He’s been a leader in the bullpen. He pitched through injury at times. He’s an Oriole. It’s tough seeing him leave. It’s part of the process and the transition that this club is going through. We know things like this happen. We did it last year. It’s happening this year.”

The trade is the second Elias has made with the Marlins in the last eight months. He traded infielder Jonathan Villar to Miami last December for a minor league left-hander, Easton Lucas.

“We’re going to get something back that we like and is meaningful for our future,” Elias said. “Almost as importantly, it opens up a roster spot both on the 40-man and on the active roster to get opportunity, that’s’ part of this, too.”

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Miami would play four games in Baltimore on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and they’ve been aggressively acquiring major league talent to replace players sidelined because of positive tests for the coronavirus.

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“I presume that the roster situation they’re in right now and perhaps that they’re coming here to play, makes this a convenient timing to do something,” Elias said.

Elias said the trade of Bleier, who lives in Miami, isn’t a sign that the Orioles don’t think they’ll be competitive in 2020.

“No, not at all,” Elias said. “We’re off to a good start. We’re 3-3 and we could have won an extra game there. The guys are playing well. It’s good energy. We’ve got good young players on the team that are perhaps having breakout years.

“We’re still at a point in our cycle where we’re going to prioritize stuff in the talent pipeline as much as possible in the minor leagues and getting that base and the goal is to persist in that way once we have that talent base filled in.

“It’s an ‘anything goes’ kind of year. We’re going to go out and try and win every game every night.”

The trade removed a key left-hander from manager Brandon Hyde’s bullpen.

“Rich was one of our older players,” Hyde said. “We don’t have a ton of them, one of the older guys in the clubhouse, someone who pitched for multiple teams, had a nice run, did a nice job for the few years he was here, came back from a tough injury, performed well later in the year last year, was off to a good start this year.

“He’s going to be missed. He’s a guy in the bullpen with a really inexperienced group that sometimes has trouble with command. He’s one guy that we could rely on to throw strikes and usually gets ground balls. It was somebody that I could rely on from that standpoint. Now, it’s up to other guys.”

Shawn Armstrong, another key bullpen piece, was sad to see Bleier go.

“You never expect it to happen that fast,” Armstrong said. “Losing somebody like that stinks in the long run, but at the same time, we’re in a rebuild, it gives another guy the opportunity to step up and take advantage of being in that role.”

Odds and ends: First baseman Chris Davis was scratched from the starting lineup because of knee soreness. Hyde said he’s available to pinch-hit … Shortstop José Iglesias is out for the third straight day because of a sore left quad … To replace Bleier on the roster, the Orioles selected the contract of catcher Bryan Holaday from the alternate site. The Orioles have 39 players on the 40-man roster and 54 players in the 60-man player pool. Holaday, who’s 32, has a .241 average in nine seasons.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    August 1, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Sure, we needed another catcher, very difficult to believe what he is saying…go O’s…

  2. Birdman

    August 1, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Its reassuring to know that Davis is available to pinch hit.

    • CalsPals

      August 1, 2020 at 6:35 pm

      Sinus infection moved to his knee, I’m sorry, if you can bat you can play, at least make it look like you’re trying to earn your $….go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 1, 2020 at 6:46 pm

        He can’t stop skneesing.

    • CalsPals

      August 1, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Lol, that was bad…go O’s…

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    “and they’ve been aggressively acquiring major league talent to replace players” …. AKA the Baltimore blueprint

  4. Bhoffman1

    August 1, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Davis is the exact opposite of Ripken you sneeze next to him he gets sinus infection you touch him the wrong way he pulls a muscle or hurts his knee. The good news seriously he doesn’t have COVID. Can someone tell me how much he’s paid to basically sit out the last four games not that he’s productive anyway

  5. Bhoffman1

    August 1, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    If you read this Elias be a good guy and trade Williams .

  6. Turnpike66

    August 1, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Elias’ trades are starting to look like a no plan at all. Unless the plan is: anyone that looks like veteran talent gets traded for….. some career minor leaguer with a 4.00+ ERA or a 250 batting average. We ought to be getting some traction by now. If the Yankee series (particularly pitching) is any indication, we are not.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    August 1, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Hey Rich, for these “Player to be named later” deals, how does that typically work? Do the Marlins set a deadline for requesting a guy and approve a short list?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 1, 2020 at 10:04 pm

      They usually work off a short list of prospects. Since they’re not on the 60-man, they’ll have to wait until the end of the season to complete it, Steve.

      • WorldlyView

        August 1, 2020 at 11:34 pm

        Rich, I don’t understand your point about “they” not being on the Marlins’ roster. How can you know that an unnamed player is or isn’t currently on the ‘pool’ roster? Also I didn’t understand your comment, above, that “the player that the Orioles will receive is not in Miami’s 60-man player pool because minor leaguers not on that list can’t be traded this season.” Why can’t the player to be named come here this season?

        • Rich Dubroff

          August 2, 2020 at 12:42 am

          Professor Cohen, it’s a rule for this year that a player not in the 60-man pool can’t be traded. Elias said that he wasn’t. It gives the Orioles more players to choose from.

  8. OriolesNumber1Fan

    August 1, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Very good blueprint and he’s telling it like it is, so there should be no questions. We don’t have enough talent in our minor leagues at this point!!! – “We’re still at a point in our cycle where we’re going to prioritize stuff in the talent pipeline as much as possible in the minor leagues and getting that base and the goal is to persist in that way once we have that talent base filled in.” And once that is filled in the talent from the minor leagues will all be in Baltimore and the big run will begin!!! We are the 2nd youngest team right now and we will only get better and younger!!! And younger and better talent will be here for a long time making our next run last a lot longer!!! So for all the old timers that want a quick fix, better luck next time.

    • WorldlyView

      August 2, 2020 at 12:03 am

      When do you expect this talent base to blossom into the next Oriole dynasty? Are you also expecting other AL teams to have relatively slower or non-existent improvements in their talent base? I can’t speak for my fellow “old timers” when I agree that no “quick fix” is possible. However, I won’t accept the notion that we can’t afford to fill a couple or three holes with proven but moderately priced free agents. I won’t passively accept suffering the likely painful consequences of relying on players waived or released by other teams.

    • CalsPals

      August 2, 2020 at 8:06 am

      Agree WorldlyView, I don’t care where a professional team is, they should always be trying to win, 2-3 moderately priced free agents isn’t asking too much, maybe baseball should have a minimum amount of money on their roster to resemble a major league roster, than what they currently have…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        August 2, 2020 at 10:40 am

        I would say 2 – 3 years you will see the Orioles next dynasty! Depending upon this years finish. If they should finish with a top 3 pick it would be more closer to 2 years if they finish towards the middle of the pack this would set it back. And if they should make the expanded version of the playoffs this year then 3 or more.
        Now things could change, depends on how quickly players move up on their stats without the rush as promised. But either way, I’m an Orioles fan for life so however long it takes I’m behind them %100.00! Also, the Orioles will sign free agents to fill the holes but they always have to compete for the best ones with the damn yankits who can outspend them for anyone they really want.

    • CalsPals

      August 2, 2020 at 10:44 am

      I’m guessing if the finish with a top 3 pick they will not be in the playoffs…go O’s…

  9. johninbethany

    August 2, 2020 at 9:04 am

    I gotta believe that Elias knows what he is doing… but how in the world does this trade help the Orioles? It looks like he is just letting players go.

    • CalsPals

      August 2, 2020 at 9:10 am

      It doesn’t help them this yr, potentially in the future, but I’m not feeling it…go O’s…

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