Last season, the Orioles underwent a complete makeover, swinging deals involving Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop, among others.
This season, they opted for a quieter, less-chaotic deadline.
Rather than trade any of their controllable assets, the Orioles held on to players like Trey Mancini, Mychal Givens, Dylan Bundy and Jonathan Villar. None of these players were likely to bring back major prospect hauls, but all could have played valuable roles for contenders around the sport if teams were willing to pay.
Clearly, GM Mike Elias didn’t feel any received offers were worth pursuing, and now the O’s will push forward with what they have in-house.
It makes sense from Baltimore’s perspective. Last season, Machado was in the final year of his contract. Nearly every tradeable asset on this year’s roster is under team control beyond 2019, which gives the team flexibility moving forward. Mancini and Givens can still be traded in the offseason, if Elias is so inclined.
Of course, it may just be that the Orioles didn’t have any interest in trading some of these players, period. Trey Mancini is showing signs of a legitimate power breakout and the front office may be reluctant to risk seeing him shine in another city.
One of the trickier aspects of a major rebuild is timing. Mancini is under team control for multiple seasons, but will he still be a quality contributor by the time the Orioles are ready to contend again? It’s a question without an obvious answer, so Elias is making decisions based on incomplete information. How he views the team's timeline certainly informs his decisions on which players to keep and which to trade away.
It was unclear how the new, singular MLB Trade Deadline would impact decision-making around the league. While it was a slow day in Baltimore, many trades made splashes around the league. Zack Greinke is an Astro, Trevor Bauer is a Red, and Noah Syndergaard is (still) a Met.
The Orioles are certainly looking forward to the day when they are once again buyers, not sellers. But fans should take heart that the front office is unwilling to make trades just for the sake of creating headlines.
Elias’ top priority is upgrading the overall talent pipeline within the organization. If the offers weren’t there, then his inaction represents a successful day for the franchise.
Plus, now fans get to enjoy a few more Trey Mancini bombs and Mychal Givens strikeouts for at least the next couple months. That’s a win-win for everybody.
MORE ORIOLES NEWS