I'm not going to beat around the bush. I mean, of all places to beat around, a bush? I'm going to beat around a pool or something. You guys enjoy your bushes. But the bigger point is that it was actually very difficult to legitimately name 10 players the Orioles could realistically trade for something of value. The moment reliever
Richard Bleier's lat
decided it needed to take the rest of the year off I thought to myself, "Maybe I should make it a list of five moving forward."
But here goes. Rebuild like a champion today.
This is the world we live in. In order to get to 10 players with any trade value at all, I have to think to myself, "Maybe Cobb's last start (7IP, 1ER, 4H, 2BB) is more significant than his previous two (10.2IP, 14ER, 18H, 3BB combined) as teams evaluate him. Look, even if the pitching market is thin, it's unlikely anyone would be willing to deal for Cobb and his contract considering how up and down he's been this season. But if I don't include Cobb, I might have to soon attempt to convince you that perhaps a team might want to trade for … Corban Joseph? Some leftover Father's Day tie giveaways?
9. Relief Pitcher Miguel Castro (unranked)
Your reaction is likely something along the lines of, "Why would the Orioles trade away a player who might be either a starter or successful late-inning reliever for years to come?" Well, because if you're rebuilding, you have to actually be willing to part ways with players other teams might want. Castro wasn't great against the Seattle Mariners June 25, but throughout his previous 27 innings, he allowed just three runs
. What could the Orioles get for Castro if they made him available? I'm not sure, but if they threw in a
, I'd be inclined to say yes. (I'm so ashamed of myself for not knowing this beacon of greatness existed before now).
8. Closer Zach Britton (No. 4)
Remember how Britton was going to come back and look incredible, build up trade value and land the Orioles a big haul? After getting rocked by the Atlanta Braves (1IP, 4ER, 5H, ONE OUT) June 22, that plan appears to be about as smart as
calling the cops on a young lady selling water
outside of your apartment building without a permit.
7. Starting Pitcher Kevin Gausman (No. 7)
PressBox's Jim Henneman says that if the Orioles are serious about rebuilding
they should include Gausman (and Dylan Bundy
, who we'll get to) in potential trade conversations. He's right. The problem is that Gausman has pitched to a 4.56 ERA in June and continues to be about as effective pre-All-Star break as I am at watching the
"Creed II" trailer
without actually squealing when I see the word "Drago" flash on the screen. (No really, squealing. Ask anyone who saw "Jurassic World" at 6:15 p.m. in White Marsh last Friday.)
6. Relief Pitcher Darren O'Day (No. 8)
Unlike Britton, O'Day has actually been great since returning from the DL. In six appearances now, he's surrendered four hits, two walks and as many runs as Lionel Messi has goals in the World Cup. His $9 million tag next season still isn't perfectly desirable, but a team looking for real late-inning help could get much less for its money and prospect compensation.
5. Infielder Danny Valencia (No. 6)
Not only has Valencia continued to be a rare valuable bat in the Orioles' lineup, his production this season is even goofier than you'd think. He's hitting .282 overall, but figure this, he's actually hitting exactly .282 against both lefties and righties this season. (As opposed to being a .249 career hitter against righties and .310 against lefties.) Weird, right? Not,
"dude saving his buddy from being attacked by an alligator with a Shawn Michaels-quality elbow drop"
weird, but weird nonetheless.
4. Relief Pitcher Brad Brach (No. 3)
Opponents have scored off him in just two of his last 19 appearances. He clearly has something to offer in the back end of the bullpen for a contender. At worst he might be the player the team can throw in with shortstop Manny Machado in order to nab someone's top prospects instead of their next tier options.
3. Starting Pitcher Dylan Bundy (No. 5)
I know you don't want to think about a world in which the Orioles give up the one pitcher that has actually appeared to pan out -- his 1.98 ERA in June is pretty spectacular -- but at some point they have to acquire players who can help create a new window for competition. Right now their top prospect is … Single-A pitcher Michael Baumann? Outfielder Ryan McKenna, who just reached Double-A last week? If someone thinks Bundy is a top-of-the-rotation pitcher that can help win a World Series this year and perhaps the next few, this could be the chip that could net the Birds the type of prospect package they desperately need.
Also, I know it isn't happening, so I'm just going to watch
about how to make a tater tot quiche, and I'll meet you at No. 1 in a second.
2. Outfielder Adam Jones (No. 2)
Jones offered a somewhat
cryptic Instagram note this weekend
and it probably means nothing, but as the world's
newest massive Braves fan
, I am sort of freaking out. Would Jones be willing to accept a trade to Atlanta to join his old pal, Nick Markakis? I'm just going to stare at
(taken by @oriolesrachel this weekend) and remember what happiness used to feel like.
1. Shortstop Manny Machado (No. 1)
What's that? Machado is only hitting .250 in June and MLB Network's Jon Heyman
told Glenn Clark Radio June 26
he doesn't think the Orioles could get pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez from the Philadelphia Phillies for him. Not to mention his defensive runs saved at shortstop this season is -16.
That's a lot of negativity for you to suggest here, Joel. We don't have much to be positive about around these parts. Could you at least let us have the hope that a Machado trade could save us for a little bit longer? Let's check in to see
what Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell thinks
about all of your negativity, Joel.