The trade deadline is drawing nearer as more teams are deciding to either be buyers and sellers. One team that may now becoming a surprise seller at the deadline are the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are reportedly giving “serious” consideration to selling some of their veteran assets at the deadline as reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
The Orioles were not expected to be sellers at the deadline when the season started. They were supposed to be serious contenders for the AL East division. Unfortunately, they have not played as well as expected this season. They sit at 46-48 and are coming off a sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees. They have dropped seven of their last ten games and are now seven games out of first in the division but are only 4.5 games back out of the wild card hunt, but the club must not be too confident at getting into the wild card game if they are considering becoming sellers.
The players they are most likely to trade if they do become sellers are first baseman Chris Davis, catcher Matt Wieters and left-handed starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. They are all free agents at the end of the year and may be too expensive for the Orioles to retain in the offseason given that they lost several key players to free agency last offseason because of their reluctance to give out long-term deals.
Davis is having an average season as he has struck out a whopping 117 times, but is batting .241/.320/.479 on the year. Davis will never hit for average like he did in the first half of 2013, but has 21 home runs and 55 RBIs in 2015. While he has not been able to replicate his All-Star 2013 season which saw him smash 53 homers and 138 RBIs, he still has tremendous power and has the ability to change the game with one swing of the bat. His power would be a welcome addition to any contending team looking for an impact bat in their lineup.
Wieters missed the first part of the season due to a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery, but has made a successful comeback as he is getting back to playing everyday. He is only batting .243/.272/.411 on the year, but would be a solid upgrade at backstop for any contending team due to his veteran experience and leadership he can bring to the clubhouse. He has a lot of power as he has hit over 20 home runs through the seasons of 2011-2013 before he underwent surgery in 2014. Any team that trades for Wieters, however, would need to accept that he may need to be given regular days off to rest his surgically repaired elbow.
The southpaw Chen is also an intriguing trade piece. He’s having a solid year as he is pitching to a 2.86 ERA clip over 18 appearances across 116.1 innings. Chen has done a good job of stranding runners in scoring position on the year as opponents are batting only .115/.148/.192 against him with RISP. He would be a solid addition to any team’s current rotation of starting pitchers and help bolster any contending team’s rotation.
The Orioles may get a good haul if they do decide to shop some of their veteran players at the deadline. With one of the weakest farm systems in the league, bolstering their minor league talent pool may be a better option than fighting a losing battle to stay in the playoff hunt. This weekend’s series should play a final, deciding role in whether or not the Orioles shop their trade pieces or look to build to the current roster before next Friday’s non-waiver deadline.