It’s always difficult to gauge how active the Orioles will be at the non-waiver trade deadline that arrives at the end of this month. I brace for a repeat of the 2000 roster purge, and it doesn’t come.
Maybe one guy gets moved, like closer George Sherrill last summer, or maybe none until the end of August.
The Orioles have another batch of candidates who are in the final year of their contracts - including Ty Wigginton, Kevin Millwood, Miguel Tejada, Cesar Izturis and Mark Hendrickson - or otherwise available in the right deal.
“If there’s an opportunity that you think makes sense, you do it,” said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. “If it doesn’t, you don’t.”
Wigginton has become the Orioles’ best bargaining chip despite hitting only one home run since May 22. He can play a variety of positions and he has power and experience. He’s also an All-Star, which looks good on a resume.
(I tried it once, but be warned - your future employer will probably make a few calls to check it out.)
If I had the chance to fill out a trade-deadline bracket - think of it as July Madness - Wigginton would be my top seed.
Millwood would be a close second. The Phillies scouted the veteran during his most recent start, but they also were checking out Oakland’s Ben Sheets.
One scout who attended that game said he preferred Millwood over Sheets.
“His numbers should be a lot better because we don’t hit or we don’t field behind him,” MacPhail said, referring to Millwood’s 2-8 record. “That really should have been six unearned runs in his last outing. He got five earned and he didn’t deserve any.”
Teams looking for a starter could first vie for Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee before turning their attention to Millwood.