Lets just suppose the Orioles arent able to make any deal by Tuesdays non-waiver trading deadline. What are their chances of sticking in the wild-card race with their current team?
A large part of the answer to that question has to do with who else is in the race. Within the American League East, the competition is with three flawed teams.
The Red Sox have had their moments this season, but overall, they dont seem to have recovered from last Septembers collapse, playing under .500 since then. Theyve had major issues in the rotation and still arent healthy in the batting lineup. Health also has been a huge problem for the Blue Jays, who lost three-fifths of their starters and now slugger Jose Bautista to injury. Plus, Torontos erstwhile ace, Ricky Romero, has been putting up head-shaking outings in recent months. The Rays have managed to hang in despite continuing struggles to score runs. Theyre getting outstanding seasons from starter David Price and closer Fernando Rodney.
Outside the division, though, there are two pairs of teams who keep leapfrogging each other. The Tigers and White Sox are taking turns leading the Central, with the second-place team often sitting in one of the wild-card spots. The second- and third-place teams in the West, the Angels and As, occupy those berths for the moment. There are also the Indians, just 3 12 games out of the last berth.
Facing those eight teams, the Orioles have to be better than six of them. So its back to the same question: Without adding a starting pitcher, first baseman or outfielder, can the Orioles make the playoffs?
Maybe they can stay ahead of the rest of AL East also-rans, though if the Rays just get a little bit of hitting, the Os would have problems with them. And certainly the As have to cool off soon. But as currently constituted, the Orioles would struggle in such a multi-team race.