02 May 2018

Ranking The Top Orioles Trade Chips


The month of May just started, and it's probably too early for the Orioles to make any major moves. But it's not too early to talk about it, since the O's are not only an awful 8-21, but they've been outscored by 55 runs and have been pretty bad in nearly every phase of the game. This isn't a fluke.

Maybe you think the Orioles need a complete rebuild. Maybe you don't. Either way, the Orioles have some interesting trade pieces. Here's a look at their top five trade chips:

1. Dylan Bundy
Free agent in 2022
3 arbitration years remaining

Matt Perez made the case for dealing Bundy on Monday. It's fun to watch Bundy pitch; there's no denying that. But there's also no denying that the O's could use an influx of talent. It's fine if you don't want Bundy to be traded away (I don't, really), but that tells you he has value and that other teams would love to have him. A frontline starter with multiple years of team control left is valuable, and at least one team could certainly buy into the 2018 version of Bundy being the real deal. It very well may be.

If the Orioles want to jump-start a rebuild, dealing Bundy may be the best way to do that, even if it's painful.

2. Manny Machado
Free agent in 2019

A lot has already been written about Machado, and there's more to come. In a season in which almost nothing has gone right for the Orioles, Machado is crushing the ball and could be on track for a career year at the plate. He should be a coveted trade piece, and fortunately for the O's, the Dodgers are now a potential landing spot.

3. Jonathan Schoop
Free agent in 2020
1 arbitration year remaining

Schoop is on the disabled list with an oblique injury, but he's scheduled to return in a week or two, barring a setback. The real question is whether Schoop is closer to the 2017 version or the 2016 one. If a team believes it's getting the healthy version of 2017 Schoop, he could end up commanding more than Machado, since Schoop is under contract for another year. However, his actual talent level and the current injury muddy the water a bit, and could limit the potential return.

The Orioles shouldn't simply give Schoop away. Still, he's a valuable trade piece, and he could bring back an impact prospect.

4. Trey Mancini 
Free agent in 2023
4 years of team control remaining (3 arbitration years)

Mancini can play the outfield, but he really shouldn't. Any team looking to acquire him should have a need at first base and/or designated hitter. Mancini's value comes from his offensive prowess, and that he's under team control for a while.

Don't want to deal Mancini? That's fine, of course. He's not as good as Bundy, but he goes in a similar category: You could see the O's keeping him and building around him, and they may try to do just that. But if another team is sold on him, has a need, and is willing to offer up, the Orioles should listen.

5. Kevin Gausman
Free agent in 2021
2 years of team control remaining (2 arbitration years left as a Super Two)

Has Gausman's new windup helped him turn a corner? Who knows? Gausman always seems on the verge of a breakout, and then something bad always follows. Still, he's on a nice little run right now. But he's not cheap, and there's sure to be some team out there who thinks they can get the best out of Gausman for the next couple years.

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Others (in no particular order): 

Zach Britton (FA in 2019)
Britton is a wild card. When he's healthy, he's one of the very best relievers in the game. He clearly wasn't himself last year, and now he's recovering from a major injury to his Achilles. He also has shown that sometimes he pushes the limit and comes back too early from injuries. There could be time for Britton to reestablish himself enough for the O's to get something worthwhile for him before the deadline.

Mychal Givens (FA in 2022, 3 arbitration years left)
He's in a funk right now, but Givens has been solid the past couple years. Still, he gets more expensive in 2019 when he's eligible for arbitration.

Brad Brach (FA in 2019)
Brach has been relatively unlucky on balls in play so far. He's still getting strikeouts, but he's also not helping himself by issuing too many walks. He could make a nice addition to a bullpen where he's not needed to close out games.

Adam Jones (FA in 2019)
With his 10-and-5 rights, Jones has the ability to veto any trade. With him about to hit free agency, it's hard to imagine him not wanting to leave if a contender came calling. But will Jones (72 wRC+) be playing well enough for a contender to want him?

Pedro Alvarez (FA in 2019)
If a team needs a cheap platoon bat, they could do worse than Alvarez, who's on fire (150 wRC+). He's making just $1 million this season.

Richard Bleier (FA in 2023, 3 arbitration years)
Who knows exactly what to think of Bleier at this point? He has the highest ERA+ among all pitchers who have ever thrown 100 innings in the majors, but he's also been a journeyman until recently and has peripherals that are extremely difficult to buy into. I can't imagine the O's would ever get full price for what Bleier is doing, so he probably isn't going anywhere.

Andrew Cashner ($8M in 2019, player option in 2020)
If the Orioles can unload Cashner, they should. He's been OK enough, but the peripherals aren't promising (the home runs are concerning). If he goes on a run before the all-star break, some teams may be interested.

Darren O'Day ($9M in 2019, deferred money in 2020-2023)
Apparently O'Day can block a trade to seven different clubs. Like Givens and Brach, O'Day has also gotten off to a rough start and probably is more of a middle relief option. If the O's can move his contract, they should.

Mark Trumbo ($13.5M in 2019, deferred money in 2020-2022)
Like O'Day, Trumbo can also block a trade to seven clubs. Now off the disabled list, Trumbo's only chance of being moved is if he starts hitting immediately. Even then, it's a stretch unless a team has a desperate need for a 1B/DH. Just getting a team to absorb most (or any?) of Trumbo's salary would be a win.

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What do you think of the top five? Would you list them in a different order? Is someone missing? Feel free to weigh in below.

Image via Keith Allison. Stats via FanGraphs. Salary info via Cot's Baseball Contracts.

8 comments:

PTCello said...

No disagreement.
Here is a hope that they will schedule any return so that every meaningful prospect will be ready at about the same time. There's no real point to keeping Bundy for the simple reason that his excellence will be wasted while waiting for other good players to arrive.

Aaron Smith said...

I'd wait on dealing Bundy. I'm not sure teams are fully convinced yet that he's a frontline starter. If I were a team prepared to trade away top tier assets for Bundy, I'd want to see if he is capable of playing a full season at a high level. 2017 wasn't quite consistent enough. The O's should bet on him finishing the season strong, which would increase his trade value in the offseason.

O's Brose said...

I would gamble and try to sign Gausman and Bundy to long term extensions right now. Then you have potentially two front line starters for several years along with Mancini and Sisco to build around. We have a lot of pitching talent in the lower minors and in 2-3 years some can turn into impact pitchers along with prospects like Hays, Mountcastle, etc. It's a rebuild with the exception of shelling out now for Bundy and Gausman. I believe Gausman has figured something out. If we do trade some of the others mentioned in the article we could receive some impact infield prospects and suddenly in 3 years we could have a young cheap controllable roster instead of 10 years from now if we were to unload everyone.

Matt Bennett said...

I think there's a decent chance Valencia hits LHP and Rasmus hits RHP enough for a contender to want them, although they won't bring much back obviously.

Tillman has still been awful but his last two starts have been better if there's any light at the end of the tunnel. Can he be a serviceable pitcher again? If so, there's always a team vying for a Wild Card spot looking to shore up the back end of their rotation. We traded for Jeremy Hellickson last year.

As long as Joseph doesn't hit like he did in 2016, he's pretty valuable.
-2.3 WAR in 100 games in 2015
-1.6 WAR in 89 games in 2017
-controllable through the 2020 season

Matt Kremnitzer said...

You are wayyyy more optimistic than I am about some of these guys. Never say never, I guess.

bill walls said...

Bundy and Schoop should ideally be extension candidates.

Jan Frel said...

Bleier and Givens are quite valuable to rebuilding team. Mancini as well, especially because we don’t really know his cieling. Keep those 2. Rest can go

aj barrell said...

Dont extend Bundy. Pitchers break look at Matt Harvey went from arguably best pitcher in baseball to DFA'd in 3-4 years. Also schoops profile probably will not age well. Dont give him away but if you get a good deal he should be dealt.