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Moves the Orioles should consider at the trade deadline

Moves the Orioles should consider at the trade deadline

After losing John Means, Tyler Wells and Kyle Bradish to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Orioles have faced a lot. Still, according to FanGraphs, the Orioles have the fifth-best odds of bringing a World Series trophy back to Baltimore. Something this young Orioles team has been working toward since its historic 101 division win season last year.

The Baltimore Orioles will become World Series contenders in 2024

Corbin Burnes has been a godsend for an Orioles rotation that desperately needed an ace. The former Cy Young winner made 15 starts with an 8-2 record and a league-leading 2.14 ERA. He was brilliant against the AL East, posting a 1.13 ERA and a 4-1 record in six appearances. The 29-year-old, who is set to hit free agency after this season, instantly validated his bold off-season acquisition.

A World Series championship is within the Orioles’ reach in 2024, but they need help, especially if they want to hold on to their ace for the long term.

Acquire a #2 Starter

After trading for Burnes, the Orioles rotation

This season was expected to be one of the best in the majors. Which was the case. Their 3.21 ERA ranks third in the majors and second in the American League. But with Bradish and Means out for the season and Grayson Rodriguez and Dean Kremer spending time on the injured list, Baltimore needs a No. 2.

Baltimore was linked to several pitchers before the deadline, but lefties Jesús Luzardo and Garrett Crochet stand out. Luzardo has ace potential, while Hook has been an ace all season, and both possess additional years of club control. But it’s worth noting that the Marlins left-hander has already been placed on the injured list twice this season.

Kremer is expected to return in a few weeks, adding a much-needed arm to the rotation, but Baltimore needs all the depth they can get. Whether that means trading for a potential ace or adding another solid middle rotation arm capable of eating up innings.

Boost the bullpen

Baltimore’s depth has weakened in the bullpen with Danny Coulombe out until September and Cole Irvin and Albert Suárez forced into starting roles. Future Hall of Famer Craig Kimbrel replaced the injured Felix Bautista, who was Mr. Automatic in save situations last year.

In a perfect world, the Orioles would add two new weapons to the bullpen capable of shutting down late-inning situations. The Orioles have recently been linked to White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech and Marlins left-hander Tanner Scott. Both would be incredible fits capable of stepping in as a setup reliever or second closer for the Orioles.

Lock down the outfield

Cedric Mullins is having a rough season, but the longtime Orioles center fielder may finally be breaking through. The 29-year-old has warmed up to batting .321/.345/.500 with a homer and three RBIs over the last seven games. Still, Baltimore is reportedly looking for a right-handed outfielder given that most of its depth is left-handed.

Chicago is looking for a big trade package for Luis Robert Jr. that Orioles executives are unlikely to give up. Harrison Bader is another Gold Glove center fielder who would be a solid option if the Mets decide to sell. If Colton Cowser were to play more center, a veteran corner outfielder like Tommy Pham could also be a possibility.

Baltimore’s plan at the deadline

With the trade deadline just over a month away, general manager Mike Elias won’t make a quick decision. Baltimore has one of the best and deepest farm systems in baseball and will be the rare buying team that can control the market. Elias is “looking at the big picture” and plans to let the next few weeks play out to see which teams are selling and what they’re asking for before making any decisions on deadlines.