MLB Trade Rumors: Orioles' Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays Targets for Multiple TeamsMarch 16, 2022
The Baltimore Orioles reportedly aren't looking to trade center fielder Cedric Mullins or left fielder Austin Hays, but that hasn't stopped teams from asking.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported multiple teams have inquired about their availability in potential trades even though Baltimore moving them remains "unlikely" since they are each under team control for four more seasons.
"While the Orioles, like most clubs, will listen to any proposal, they want to get a clearer picture of how their rebuilding plan is progressing before considering trades of their better players," Rosenthal wrote.
Baltimore is in rebuilding mode after a fifth straight losing season, but Mullins is 27 years old, and Hays is 26 years old.
Given their age and how long they remain under contract, both players could still be key pieces in the team's lineup when it is once again ready to compete in the American League East. While trading them could give the franchise quite the haul in return, the hope is to eventually build around players like the two outfielders.
Mullins is coming off an excellent season that saw him win a Silver Slugger and make his first All-Star Game while finishing ninth in American League MVP voting.
He slashed .291/.360/.518 with 30 home runs, 59 RBI, 37 doubles and 30 stolen bases as someone who can impact the game with his power, speed and ability to get on base. It was a stunning breakout campaign for someone who played 48 or fewer games in each of his first three years and indicated he is just hitting his prime.
As for Hays, he too had a breakout season in 2021 while slashing .256/.308/.461 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI.
A number of contenders would instantly improve if either of these players were on their roster, so the interest comes as no surprise. Baltimore can also hold onto them and potentially move them down the line if the rebuilding process is slower than expected or if there are several head-turning offers that are difficult to refuse.
For now, though, it appears they will remain Orioles.