Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore Orioles (52-54), 6.0 GB in AL East, 3.5 GB in AL Wild Card
ACQUIRED: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (from PHI), INF Tim Beckham (from TB)
TRADED: OF Hyun-soo Kim (to PHI), LHP Garrett Cleavinger (to PHI), RHP Tobias Myers (to TB)
With an unimpressive farm system and a very small chance to make the postseason this year, many expected the Orioles to sell off some pieces in order to field a younger team and boast a better farm system. So, it came as a huge surprise when the Orioles actually ended up being buyers at this year’s deadline, showing the O’s management clearly believes the team can make the postseason this year.
As they closed in on the trade deadline, it appeared as though a Zach Britton trade was imminent, with contending teams like the Indians, Astros and Dodgers in on the star closer. O’s executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette saw what Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller fetched at last year’s trade deadline and searched for a similar package.
But due to Britton only having one and a half years of control remaining, it was clear he was not satisfied with the offers on the table, so he kept his closer. Duquette also elected to hold onto another asset that could have boosted the farm system in Brad Brach, which was another surprising move for a team that appeared as though they were best suited as sellers.
Instead, the Orioles went out and acquired two Major League players, albeit without parting with much talent in their weak system. In their first deadline move, the Orioles added to Jeremy Hellickson to their rotation in a deal that sent outfielder Hyun-soo Kim and minor leaguer Garrett Cleavinger, as well as international signing bonus money.
But the Birds weren’t done there after they made an inter-division trade with the Tampa Bay Rays acquiring Tim Beckham. With JJ Hardy likely hitting free agency this winter, they received a controllable middle infielder, who they will have through 2020. With the Orioles trading a prospect who was not ranked in the top 30 in their system along with Beckham’s team control, this move made more sense than the deal for Hellickson.
In the end, the Orioles still have a hill to climb if they would like to reach the playoffs. FanGraphs gives the club just a 0.4% at winning the division and a 5.0% chance of winning the Wild Card, so their odds are slim to none at best. The Orioles had a prime opportunity to improve the minor league system at this year’s deadline. Instead, they will try to make a postseason push, but they will have some interesting decisions to make this winter.
For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.