3 Post-Deadline Moves That the Baltimore Orioles Could Still Make
The Baltimore Orioles were extremely active this season at the July 31 trade deadline.
In July they acquired two starting pitchers in Scott Feldman and Bud Norris, both of whom are currently in the Orioles' starting rotation, as well as an experienced right-handed reliever in Francisco Rodriguez.
Even with these major trades, the Orioles may not be done making deals as the August 31 waiver trade deadline is still in play.
While this deadline will make it slightly more complicated to make trades as players are forced to go through waivers, it's still plausible that if Orioles general manager Dan Duquette feels the need to improve the roster, he can still attempt to make acquisitions.
Here are a few of the moves that the Orioles could still possibly make.
Acquire a Right-Handed Designated Hitter. Examples: Michael Morse, Michael Young
Although the Orioles seem to be content with their right-handed designated hitting options, it is probably their biggest weakness.
Currently, the Birds have Danny Valencia and Steve Pearce platooning as their right-handed DHs, although Valencia is the favorite to be optioned to Triple-A when Brian Roberts returns from paternity leave.
Regardless, neither have been overly impressive.
Valencia does have five homers in only 74 at-bats. However, he's hitting only .216 on the season and really isn't showing that he deserves increased playing time.
Pearce has improved after a terrible April in which he averaged .179. Still, he's not a huge threat at the plate. He has merely three homers and a .256 average in 86 ABs.
As for available right-handed batters on the trade market, two Michaels come to mind: Morse and Young.
Young, who's a 36-year-old veteran, has a .300 career average and was a seven time All-Star in his time with Texas. While he has slowed down a bit with age, he's still hitting .273 on the season with the Phillies and would add another decent bat to the already solid Orioles lineup.
Morse, on the other hand, is more about power. He jacked a 423-foot bomb at Camden Yards last Friday, which was his 12th of the season, and is slugging .459 on the season, which is slightly below his career .489 slugging percentage.
Morse's biggest issue may be his availability. Unlike Young, Morse may have trouble passing through waivers; not only is he younger than Young, he's also cheaper.
Acquire a Left-Handed Designated Hitter. Example: Justin Morneau
The biggest name that the Orioles have been linked to is probably Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. Although his bat doesn't seem to have the same pop as it used to, he still provides decent offensive production.
On the season the 32-year-old has 10 home runs and a .268/.326/.412 batting line.
However, only one of Urrutia's 12 hits in the majors was an extra-base hit, a somewhat lucky triple, which was the result of a misplayed ball.
Unlike Urrutia, Morneau provides those extra base hits. Although Morneau's home run numbers are down, he is on pace for around 40 doubles, as he already has 27.
Whether the Orioles will stick with Urrutia or try to upgrade is entirely up to GM Dan Duquette and the rest of the Orioles organization.
Acquire Another Starting Pitcher. Example: Joe Saunders
Yes, the Orioles already traded for two starting pitchers—but you can never have enough pitching.
What should the Orioles trade for prior to August 31?
Still, the Orioles aren't necessarily deep at starting pitching and Scott Feldman has been less than impressive with his 5.70 ERA in six starts with the Birds.
If Feldman doesn't start to improve soon, the Orioles may look into trading for an extra starter, and there may not be a better fit than Saunders, as he's relatively cheap and is a free agent next year.
The O's traded for Saunders last August and he pitched well, going 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven regular season starts for the Orioles. He also pitched well and picked up the win against the Rangers in the AL Wild Card Game.
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