Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said that he came close to making additional deals beyond trading shortstop Freddy Galvis to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league pitcher Taylor Burch, reliever Shawn Armstrong to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations and claiming left-handed reliever Ryan Hartman on waivers from Houston.
However, there was no thought of trading first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini. “The future is very bright for Trey Mancini,” Elias said
He also said after Friday’s trade deadline passed: “We were very mindful that a lot of our best players that were in demand were players that are not pending free agents with the Orioles. They’re players that are young and talented and we like and have future years with this club and project to be a part of this club when we hope to be a playoff contender.
“We were very judicious and mindful of that as we approached this [trade] deadline.”
Elias confirmed that the Orioles were paying Galvis’ $250,000 bonus because of the trade.
Burch, a 23-year-old right-hander, is 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 23 games this season with Low-A Clearwater and High-A Jersey Shore.
“I feel like it’s a nice arm for the system,” Elias said.
Elias said that Galvis, who is nearing a return from a June 26th injury to his right quadriceps, has been replaced adequately by Ramón Urias.
“We’ve seen some really encouraging play here from Ramón Urías and we’ve got some other players in the minor leagues who might come up and help out in the middle infield in the second half,” Elias said.
Elias said that the team was “pretty close” to making a deal for one of its relievers. The names most prominently mentioned were left-handers Paul Fry and Tanner Scott and right-handers Cole Sulser and Dillon Tate.
“There were a couple of close opportunities that either didn’t get to the finish line or we decided not to pull the trigger on them,” Elias said. “This wasn’t just today. This was over the last week or so.
“We’ve got some really good relief pitchers that are all in their first three years in the major leagues, some of them promoted into arbitration next year, some of them aren’t, but we like what they do for us now. We like what they do for us in the future. We’ll take a look at things next winter, next summer and continue to assess things and hope they continue to get better and continue helping us. It was not a low bar for us to trade any of these guys.”
Optimism for Mancini: Elias expressed admiration and a fondness for Mancini.
“He has been through something I don’t think any of us can imagine and he’s come out of it like the special person that he is. He’s back to baseball now, and he’s going to keep getting better and building off this. I can’t wait to see him do that.
“I can’t wait to see him do that with us. I hope he’s here as long as possible and, ultimately, we’re going to take things as we come like baseball teams do in the major leagues and look at stuff and keep talking. He’s a very special part of this team, and he’s going to continue to be so, and we’re happy about that.”
Means, Mullins staying put: Elias said that he wasn’t tempted to trade left-hander John Means or starting All-Star centerfielder Cedric Mullins.
“I was pretty confident that we weren’t going to get very serious in talks with those players,” Elias said. “We’re very, very impressed by what those guys are doing, and they’re here for a long time, and they play positions that are not easy to find guys to do what they do. It’s not a priority for us to look at those opportunities.”
On the minor leagues: Elias said that infielder Anthony Servideo had season-ending sports hernia surgery. … Double-A Bowie left-hander DL Hall, who’s been out because of a left elbow injury has a stress fracture in the elbow, requiring further rest. “I’m very pessimistic that he’s going to be able to return this season,” Elias said. … Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who’s been on the 10-day injured list because of left biceps tendinitis, will throw a rehab game at High-A Aberdeen on Saturday. He’ll throw another rehab start next week and perhaps a return to the Orioles after that.
Shortstop Richie Martin, who’s been on the 60-day injured list because of a fractured right wrist, began a rehab assignment at Bowie on Thursday and could return to the 40-man roster soon. … Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Yusniel Diaz, who’s been out because of a sprained toe, is day-to-day, but he’s running. … Aberdeen infielder Adam Hall is out with a quadriceps strain and could return by mid-August.
Norfolk left-hander Zac Lowther, who’s out because of a strained left shoulder, is reporting to Sarasota for rehab. He could pitch in Florida Complex League games and return to the Tides by the end of August. … Bowie infielder Terrin Vavra, out because of a back strain, will begin rehab games within 10 days and Elias hopes he returns to the Baysox by the middle of the month. … Bowie infielder Joey Ortiz, who had season-ending shoulder surgery, is progressing well, Elias said.
Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, the overall No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft, remains sidelined by myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. “We’re continuing to hope for some good news soon,” Elias said. “It’s been, to say the least, a very trying experience for him and the organization. We’re helping him and supporting him. We’ve still got a lot of time left and this is something that we think will pass.”
Notes: Outfielder Anthony Santander has been reactivated from the Covid-19 injured list. Right-hander Thomas Eshelman was optioned to Norfolk. Santander is batting fifth and playing right field in Friday night’s game in Detroit. … Left-hander Keegan Akin will remain on the Covid-19 list for another day or two, manager Brandon Hyde said.