Trey Mancini's goodbye to the Baltimore Orioles medical staff meant more than the typical farewells from a player to an organization after he is traded.
Mancini was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 but returned to the field and won the 2021 American League Comeback Player of the Year. After Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported he was traded to the Houston Astros as part of a three-team deal, the slugger thanked the Orioles medical staff and the Johns Hopkins doctors that helped him.
"I think they saved my life," he said, per Zachary Silver of MLB.com.
Joe Trezza of MLB.com detailed what Mancini faced as he sat out the entire 2020 season, noting he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and needed chemotherapy for months.
"There were times early on when I wasn't entirely sure I’d be playing baseball again," Mancini said. "I'd be lying if I'd say that was the first thing that came to mind. The whole time I just wanted to be healthy long-term and live a long life. And baseball definitely was on the back burner when I was going through all that."
Yet he eventually returned to the field in 2021 and slashed .255/.326/.432 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI. He finished second in the Home Run Derby that year and was embraced by fans who offered their support.
"It meant the world to me, the support I got from my teammates, and all the fans here," Mancini said. "The fans in Baltimore have always been so amazing at rallying behind their players. It didn't surprise me in the slightest bit, the support I got. It meant so much and really helped me get through and get really excited to get back to playing baseball."
Mancini's return was the biggest storyline of the Orioles' 2021 season, but they have been more competitive this year with a 51-51 record. They are just three games back of the final American League wild-card spot, although that didn't stop them from trading the 30-year-old, who could become a free agent after the 2023 season.
ESPN's Jeff Passan provided the full details of the deal:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Right-hander Seth Johnson, whose inclusion <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Ken_Rosenthal</a> first reported, is the best prospect in this deal. All he's done is put up numbers -- but the Rays were looking to move him because of looming 40-man crunch. He will miss perhaps all of next year after Tommy John surgery.
Mancini is slashing .268/.347/.404 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI this season. He joins an Astros team that is in first place in the American League West at 67-36 and figures to be a realistic threat to win the World Series when the playoffs begin.
While his championship chances improved with the trade, Mancini wanted to thank those with the Orioles who helped him get back to this point.