The Orioles' Trade Chips at the Deadline
With the trade deadline approaching, the Orioles are set to be a seller again. The rebuilding process is in full storm, and some more prospects couldn't hurt.
The O's have many players that are intriguing to other teams. These players do not factor into the O's plans for the future, so if they can get some good prospects in return, the trades will be successes.
In this slide show I will look at the players the O's may trade, the teams that are interested, and some players the O's will want in return.
Information from a recent article by Jeff Zrebiec was used in this article.
Aubrey Huff - 1B/DH
Huff is a power hitter who can bolster the middle of any team's lineup.
Ever since Carlos Delgado went down, the Mets have been considered a possible destination for Huff. However, his weak defensive skills could hurt the Mets, as they cannot stick him at DH.
He also has been slumping recently (one homer and six RBIs in his last 21 games) after starting out red hot.
The O's may be hesitant to move Huff because he is up for arbitration, so they could either get him for one more year or get some compensation draft picks if he leaves. They will need a pretty good haul of prospects in return.
The Tigers and Giants are also interested in Huff.
Danys Baez - RP
Baez is an experienced middle reliever who could really help a contender. He used to be a top-line closer, but with the O's, he has become an unpredictable reliever with little durability.
After missing last year with an injury, Baez came back and was pretty solid at the start of the season.
However, his ERA has jumped recently to 4.60 from an impressive 3.03. Also, he has only thrown on back-to-back days once, proving that he still is not completely recovered from his injury.
While most contenders are always looking for a quality middle reliever, right now the only teams interested in Baez are the Rockies and the Marlins.
If the O's want to get a decent prospect in return for Baez, they will probably have to eat a good amount of his $2 million contract.
Melvin Mora - 3B
At 37 years old, Mora does not factor into the O's plans for the future at all. His contract has a 2010 option, but the O's will almost definitely not pick that up. His contract also has a no-trade clause, so moving him could be problematic.
His power numbers are in huge decline, and he's far away from the 2004 season, when he hit .340.
He could still be valuable to a contender because he is good with runners in scoring position (batting .328 on the season), and he is very strong defensively.
If the offer is right, he may be willing to waive the NTC, making him possible to move.
The Twins and Mariners are reportedly interested in Mora, and the O's could maybe get a semi-decent prospect in return.
George Sherrill - RP
Sherrill is the O's best trade chip, and they could definitely get a good haul in return for him. However, the O's may not be willing to trade him, because he is a top-line closer and is under contract for two more years.
If the O's do trade him, they are going to want a lot in return, which could deter some teams. Apparently MacPhail wants two or three good prospects in return, which may be a lot to ask since there are other good relievers out there.
If the O's do trade Sherrill, they could get a good corner infielder, which is a concern for the O's since Huff and Mora are 32 and 37, respectively.
The teams interested in Sherrill are the Cubs, Rockies, Marlins, Angels,
Dodgers, and Brewers.
Ty Wigginton - IF
Wigginton can play all four infield positions and can DH, so he is extremely valuable to a contender. Also, his playing time has decreased since Luke Scott has come off the DL.
However, the O's would like to keep him because they are almost certainly not going to have Mora next year and may not have Huff, so Wigginton will have a place next year.
The Marlins, Cardinals, and Giants are all reportedly interested in Wigginton, but the O's would probably want more than he's worth given they like the idea of him as an insurance plan for next year.
Greg Zaun - C
Zaun would be a solid backup catcher on any team, and has garnered some interest, particularly from the Cubs.
Felix Pie- OF
Pie is solid defensively, and a speed demon who can really help a team late in the game.
Pie was originally envisioned as the left fielder of the future for the O's, but with the emergence of Nolan Reimold, he has been used largely in a utility role.
There has been discussion of Pie being traded to the White Sox for 3B Josh Fields, which would be a great trade for the O's. For that trade to work, the O's would probably have to include someone else.