Potential Partners for the Birds’ Top Trade Chips

The trade deadline is a little over five weeks away – July 31 at 4:00 p.m. ET – and the Baltimore Orioles will certainly be acting as sellers for the second consecutive season as they continue to stock the farm system in the ongoing rebuild process.

Let’s take a look at some trade chips the Orioles have who have a chance to be on the move this summer. They could either be players who are of high interest to other clubs or players who the Orioles would like to move.

I won’t make any predictions or guesses at what type of return Baltimore could net for each player because it always ends up being wrong and the market dictates what type of trade value a player has. Instead I’ll list five teams that could be potential fits for each player. The age noted next to each name represents how old the player will be at the time of the trade deadline. If you have any questions as to why each team would be a fit for these players, I’ll leave my Twitter handle at the bottom.

Let’s start with the pitchers, shall we?

 

RHP Mychal Givens (29)

Contract status: Under team control through 2021

Mychal Givens on the mound looking in.

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

To say Mychal Givens is off to a rough start to the season is an understatement. He is currently sporting a 5.23 ERA and 5.18 FIP in 31 innings pitched, allowing eight home runs and walking 15 batters. However, he does have the highest strikeout rate of his career with 13.06 K/9 and the demand for relievers at the deadline is always high. Givens was highly coveted last season, but the Orioles decided not to move him. Teams that miss out on the higher-tier relievers could target Givens next, hoping for him to return to his previous form.

Potential fits: Red Sox, Rays, Nationals, Braves, Phillies

 

LHP Richard Bleier (32)

Contract status: Under team control through 2022

Richard Bleier of the Orioles pitches.

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Richard Bleier is another reliever who isn’t performing like his former self, recording a 6.75 ERA and 4.59 FIP in 21 1/3 innings this season. In 23 innings with the Yankees in 2016, he had a 1.96 ERA, and he followed up the next two seasons with the Orioles posting ERAs of 1.99 and 1.93 ERA, respectively. It’s certainly possible he just had trouble settling in early on since returning from surgery on his left latissimus dorsi muscle, as he does have a 2.35 ERA in his last seven appearances totaling 7 2/3 innings.

The Orioles may not be in a rush to trade Bleier as he’s under control for three and a half more seasons and clubs could try to acquire him on a discount. The southpaw is in his age-32 season, though, so Baltimore may opt to ship him away for the best offer as they continue to get younger.

Potential fits: Red Sox, Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Cubs

 

RHP Andrew Cashner (32)

Contract status: Final year of two-year, $16 million deal (third year option)

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Andrew Cashner is your typical rental back-of-the-rotation starter, posting a 4.37 ERA and 4.62 FIP in 82 1/3 innings so far this season. He is making $8 million this season and has a $10 million vesting option for 2020. The option vests if the right-hander reaches 340 innings between 2018 and 2019, and becomes a player option at 360 innings pitched. Having thrown 235 1/3 innings so far during his two-year contract, he needs 104 2/3 innings pitched the rest of this season for his option to vest into 2020. He’s not an exciting option for teams, but he has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 11 of 15 starts this season, and two or fewer in eight of 15 starts. He also has pitched at least six innings in seven of his last 10 outings. Contenders with deep farm systems will line up for Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner this summer, while others may target Cashner at a cheaper cost to solidify their rotations.

Potential fits: Astros, Rangers, Athletics, Phillies, Brewers

RHP Dylan Bundy (26)

Contract status: Under team control through 2021

Dylan Bundy pitching.

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

The start of Dylan Bundy’s 2019 campaign looked similar to his 2018, recording a 6.67 ERA and 6.61 FIP in six starts through the end of April. However, when the calendar flipped and he made adjustments to pitch usage, he has made some wonderful strides. Since the start of May, Bundy has posted a 3.46 ERA and 4.11 FIP over nine starts totaling 52 innings pitched. His walks and home runs allowed have decreased considerably. The Orioles may not be in a rush to deal him away, as he has two and a half years until free agency, but as clubs dive into the trade market for controllable starters, a reestablished Bundy could be on a few teams’ list of options.

Potential fits: Astros, Rangers, Athletics, Phillies, Brewers

 

1B/OF Trey Mancini (27)

Contract status: Under team control through 2022

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Fans, writers and reporters have gone back and forth on whether or not Trey Mancini is an extension candidate or trade chip. If you have to have this type of debate during a rebuild, the player must be doing something right. Mancini is slashing .304/.364/.564 with 17 home runs so far this season and is absolutely the most deserving on the roster for the All-Star Game and team MVP. He’s still under team control for three and a half more years, which means the O’s won’t be pushing him out of the door. But it’s possible that he could net the Orioles the biggest return of all their trade chips. It’s unknown what route the club will go, but for now it’s worth noting that it’s at least possible he could be on the move this summer.

Potential fits: Rays, Indians, Astros, Rangers, Rockies

2B/SS Jonathan Villar (28)

Contract status: Under team control through 2020

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

The Orioles may be able to expand on their return for Jonathan Schoop. Last summer, the Brewers sent Jonathan Villar, Luis Ortiz and Jean Carmona to Baltimore for Schoop. Now, the Orioles could ship Villar out for additional prospects. Villar is currently batting .249/.310/.405 with nine homers and 15 stolen bases. It’s worth noting the switch-hitter is performing better from the left side, slashing .264/.348/.429 with five home runs. His speed, defense and ability to hit right-handers could be attractive on the trade market. Having team control through next season could also help entice possible suitors.

Potential fits: Indians, Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers

 

OF Dwight Smith Jr. (26)

Contract status: Under team control through 2024
Embed from Getty Images

Dwight Smith Jr. has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles in 2019, but there’s no telling where he fits into the team’s future plans. He owns a .257/.313/.464 line with 11 long balls this year, and has shown an ability to be an average hitter against both right-handers and southpaws. He’s under club control for five and a half more years, but it remains to be seen whether the O’s view him as a long-term asset or a potential trade chip. We’ll see in the coming weeks.

Potential fits: Indians, Athletics, Phillies, Cardinals, Rockies

 

1B/OF Mark Trumbo (33)

Contract status: Final year of three-year, $37.5 million deal

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

This is a tricky one. Mark Trumbo still has yet to play for the Orioles this season as he recovers from knee surgery, and there’s no telling when he’ll return to action at the big league level. He’ll most certainly need to play some games for the Orioles if they wish to move him and shed some of the money he’s owed the rest of this season. If they are able to trade Trumbo, don’t expect much of a return. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the O’s either combine Trumbo in a package with another player or eat some of Trumbo’s remaining salary in his contract year for a contender to acquire him.

Potential fits: Indians, Astros, Rangers, Phillies, Rockies

 

C Pedro Severino (26)

Contract status: Under team control through 2023
Embed from Getty Images
This all depends on – like some other potential trade chips – how the Orioles feel about Pedro Severino. He’s only 26 years old and is under club control for four and a half more seasons. The catcher is also hitting at a level he never has in his professional career, minors included. He’s currently batting .280/.353/.487 with eight homers on the season. Severino has demolished left-handed pitching, slashing .328/.380/.609 while hitting .244/.333/.395 against righties. If the Orioles believe he can keep this up, they may hold on to the backstop. But if they think this is a fluke year for the 26-year-old, they could try to maximize his value now and select the contract of Jesus Sucre from Triple-A Norfolk to continue to mentor Chance Sisco behind the dish.

Potential fits: Astros, Angels, Rangers, Brewers, Diamondbacks

The Rays, Red Sox, Nationals and Phillies could all use some bullpen help. The Athletics need to fill a Frankie Montas-sized hole in their rotation, while the Astros, Rangers, Phillies and Brewers could fill in the back end of their starting fives as well. Houston could target first basemen to be an upgrade over Tyler White and Yuli Gurriel, while the Indians, Phillies and Rockies could use some more bats as well. The Angels may target Severino as a present and future backstop with pending-free agent Jonathan Lucroy being a disappointment behind the plate.

If you want further explanation on why I feel each club listed could be a potential fit for any of the Orioles players listed above, you can find me on Twitter at @DillonTAtkinson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hot off the street

Who (Else) Could be on the Move for the Birds?
Who (Else) Could be on the Move for the Birds?

A Quantitative Analysis of the Birds Before the Trade Deadline We’re now past the halfway point of the 2019 MLB Season and trade rumors are already swirling. I don’t expect Mike Elias to be as ...read more

2019 Orioles Now Shooting for 54.5 Wins
2019 Orioles Now Shooting for 54.5 Wins

The writing was on the wall long ago. Every Orioles fan knew that 2019 was going to be a trying season as the club enters a long, arduous rebuild. But as the All-Star break comes and goes, Baltimore...read more

Seven Predictions for the Second Half
Seven Predictions for the Second Half

The All-Star break has come to an end and it’s time for real Major League Baseball games to start back up. With that said, I’d like to have a little fun with some bold - and some not so bold - pre...read more

O’s Should Acquire (and Flip) Hechavarria
O’s Should Acquire (and Flip) Hechavarria

Griesser's Suggested Change of the Week As I outlined recently, the 2019 Baltimore Orioles are not going to have a particularly active trade deadline. While the team is in no position to buy and like...read more

John Means Was the Most Deserving O’s All-Star
John Means Was the Most Deserving O’s All-Star

While many O's fans are still stinging that Trey Mancini was "snubbed" for the 2019 All-Star Game in favor of John Means, the fact is that Means had just as much of an argument for being included on t...read more

View More