Cedric Mullins Trade Rumors: Orioles OF Available for 'Extremely High' Asking Price

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 26, 2021

Toronto, ON- October 3  -  Baltimore Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins (31) rounds third base as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles in the last game of the season, but wins by the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox eliminate the Jays from the postseason at Rogers Centre in Toronto. October 3, 2021.        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles are willing to listen to teams' offers for center fielder Cedric Mullins, but their asking price is understandably high after the 27-year-old just polished off an All-Star season with 30 home runs and an .878 OPS.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Audacy provided the report:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Word has gotten out that the Orioles would listen on star CF Cedric Mullins, and teams are lining up to give it a shot knowing it’s a long shot. Asking price is understandably extremely high. All these teams (and more) could use a CF: Philly, Rangers, Astros, Giants, Mets, Yanks.

Mullins is also under team control for the next four seasons, so he isn't eligible for free agency until 2026. That further raises Mullins' trade value, and he figures to be a core piece in the Orioles' ongoing multiyear rebuild if he isn't moved.

On the surface, dealing Mullins doesn't make any sense.

He became the latest member of the exclusive 30-30 club following his 30-homer, 30-stolen base season. Mullins also finished ninth among American League position players with a 5.7 WAR (wins above replacement), per Baseball-Reference.

Plus, there's no guarantee that the Orioles receive any players of Mullins' caliber.

Nick Stellini of the FTN Network provided this thought.

Nick Stellini @StelliniTweets

Maybe the Orioles will trade the prospects they get for Cedric Mullins in five years and get a player who's 80% as good as Mullins, whom they'll then flip for even more cost-controlled pieces six years after that.

The Orioles have a promising farm system that includes MLB.com's No. 1 overall prospect (Adley Rutschman), the No. 8 prospect (right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez) and three other prospects in the top 100.

This team's complete overhaul will take some time. Having patience and retaining Mullins is the most prudent option.

On the other hand, it's possible Mullins' most recent campaign was a fluke after he hit .225 (.632 OPS) in 115 games over his first three seasons. But he just established himself as one of the game's top center fielders with a dominant 2021 season. The most recent numbers are hard to ignore.

For now, Mullins is the team's star in center field as the Orioles look to bounce back from a 52-110 season.