Orioles hope Flaherty can bolster inexperienced rotation - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles hope Flaherty can bolster inexperienced rotation

Photo Credit: David Banks USA TODAY Sports

It took until minutes remained before Tuesday night’s trade deadline for the Orioles to complete a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for an accomplished major league starter. The Orioles added Jack Flaherty to their rotation and the cost was two prospects from Triple-A Norfolk, left-handed pitcher Drew Rom and infielder César Prieto, and a Single-A Delmarva right-hander, Zack Showalter.

Because Rom was on the 40-man roster, the Orioles don’t need to make a 40-man move but will have to subtract a pitcher when Flaherty arrives from St. Louis.

“The accomplishments he’s made over there probably makes him our second most experienced starter,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said in a video conference call.

Kyle Gibson is the most experienced starter. They also have Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer and Grayson Rodriguez, but Elias wasn’t ready to set a postseason rotation.

“We’ve got some young guys who are doing really, really well, so I don’t really care what the order of our rotation is,” Elias said. “If we’re fortunate enough to get into the playoffs and we see who our opponent is and what the matchup is, we’ll set the rotation at that point. He goes in right with the best of our group.”

The Cardinals, who haven’t had a losing season since 2007, are in last place in the National League Central and focused on 2024. Elias thinks that going to a team in position to make the postseason will be beneficial for Flaherty.

“He’s very excited,” Elias said. “Any time you’re out of the race and then you go to a team that’s in first place, and you’re a competitor, it’s a jolt.”

Elias said Orioles Chairman and CEO John Angelos was supportive of his move.

“John’s input and support during the trade deadline was excellent,” Elias said. “He enabled us to line the board up and make the moves we wanted to make. The budget possibilities were ample. We had the wherewithal to do what we needed and wanted to do on the baseball level … We were totally able to explore what we wanted to and needed to and everything up and down the spectrum from a financial perspective and take advantage of good opportunities and good investments for the team, and this is where we landed.”

The Orioles didn’t make a trade for a reliever, but Elias pointed to last month’s acquisition of Japanese reliever Shintaro Fujinami from Oakland as an important addition.

“I thought that was a big move ahead of the deadline,” he said. “It filled one of the spots that were in flux. Hopefully, he continues to look like a guy that’s going to help us. We believe that thus far he’s doing that, but we were exploring more. We just weren’t able to get it across the finish line for whatever reason.”

Elias realizes that his largely inexperienced team is in a position new to them, and while he knows that Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano have been used often, he noted that manager Brandon Hyde will never use a reliever three days in succession.

“We’re trying to take care of our pitching,” he said. “It’s obviously challenging in any situation but in ours in particular with the types of dogfights that we’re in every night with the American League East, and then the types of games that we’re in where it’s always close, it’s tough. That’s why bringing a starting pitcher in that’s got 100 innings under his belt this year and has had a couple of seasons where he’s approached 200, we hope will help.”

Elias was pleased that the Orioles were able to retain their top-shelf prospects.

“We have a couple of players that we wouldn’t trade for anyone in baseball,” Elias said. “There were a lot of teams really fixated on a lot of players that we had that we just didn’t feel it was appropriate to go in those deals. That’s part of why this went to the last minute for us.”

Notes: The Orioles traded right-hander Eduard Bazardo to the Seattle Mariners for minor league right-hander Logan Rinehart. … After throwing another live batting practice, left-hander DL Hall will move from Sarasota to Triple-A Norfolk and will initially serve as a reliever for the Tides. … Norfolk right-hander Chayce McDermott was named the International League Player of the Week. … Single-A Delmarva right-hander Jean Pinto was named Carolina League Player of the Week… Catcher Samuel Basallo moved up from the Shorebirds to High-A Aberdeen while catcher Silas Ardoin moved from the IronBirds to Double-A Bowie.

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