The Orioles started trade deadline day about 24 hours early with a pair of trades that could be a sign of things to come in the next day. Or, it could be the only moves general manager Mike Elias makes.
They shipped off starting pitcher Tommy Milone and relief pitcher Mychal Givens to the Braves and Rockies within a few hours of one another, as two trade pieces left Baltimore.
But now, the question is simply if the Orioles are done selling. And if they aren’t, there’s a few options that could be enticing for most teams in baseball.
Perhaps the most notable option is shortstop Jose Iglesias, who joined the Orioles this season with a reputation of his hot glove. In 2020, he’s shown he can stand out at the plate, too.
Entering Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays, Iglesias was batting .406 with a .418 on-base percentage. He hasn’t hit for power, as evidenced by his zero home runs, but he’s been one of the better hitters in the American League through a third of the season.
He recently came off the Injured List with a quad injury, which could raise some concerns from other clubs across the league. Additionally, he’d be just a month-long rental for a team if they decide to pull the trigger. But if a team is looking for a spark from a flashy middle infielder, Iglesias is certainly on the table.
Hanser Alberto could also be an intriguing infield option for the Orioles to sell, as he’s been a terror for left-handed pitchers the Orioles have faced this season. Entering Sunday, he was batting .328 with a .350 on-base percentage. Against lefties, he’s hitting .462 with an OPS of 1.118.
On the mound, the Orioles have long been tied to trade rumors with starter Alex Cobb.
Signed through the 2021 season, Cobb has a 4.33 ERA in seven games for the Orioles this season — the best ERA he’s posted since 2017 when he was a member of the Rays.
The left-hander has stayed healthy through 35 ⅓ innings and could provide a contending club with a solid left-handed arm for a stretch run.
Finally, the Orioles could further cut their bullpen depth if they choose to ship off Miguel Castro.
Castro is an interesting case for the Orioles, as he’s arbitration eligible in 2021 and won’t hit free agency until 2023. He’s just 25-years-old and, in his four years as an Oriole, has shown off his powerful arm in 16 games.
The Orioles could decide to hang onto Castro for at least another year as he’s young enough to stay on through the rebuild. Or, depending on the type of offer they get, could send him away as they did Givens. And if the trade return for Givens was any indication, the market is always there for bullpen arms.
With less than 24 hours to the trade deadline, the Orioles are clear sellers in a crowded contention field. And as the deadline comes at a time when the Orioles have fast gone downhill after their hot start, the only question left to be answered is who can, or will, pay up for major league talent in Baltimore.