Will a lack of high-end prospects impact the Orioles in trade talks?

It was a nice honor for Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy yesterday to be named to play for the U.S. team in the upcoming Futures Game. The game seems to get more attention each year and it showcases the best prospects in the sport.

No matter what their stats or recent performances might indicate, this duo remains among the top prospects out there and is highly regarded throughout baseball.

I've heard that their names keep coming up in any trade discussions the Orioles have. They are brought up by other clubs who must realize there is very little to no chance the Orioles would move either of the players.

But this brings up another issue in that the other teams seem much less interested in any other O's minor leaguers. This doesn't mean the Orioles minors don't have some interesting players with upside and potential, but they are just lacking high-end prospects after the big two.

This puts the Orioles in a position of less clout than a lot of clubs when it comes to making any trades over the next few weeks. Surely, the Orioles will inquire about and seek additional starting pitching, but some in the sport believe that other clubs with more top prospects to offer are in a better position to make trades than the Orioles.

Duquette Showalter Presser wide.jpgMaybe Dan Duquette has something up his sleeve to get around this issue, but he will have a hard time convincing other GMs that the Orioles prospects are better than other scouts seem to feel they are.

The O's farm is not devoid of talent, it is just lacking top talent after the Machado-Bundy duo. It will be interesting to see if Duquette can pull off a deal or deals without some trade chips that other teams may have.

Bundy's next start: Fresh off pitching a scoreless inning in the California/Carolina League All-Star game, Bundy will make his next start Saturday at home for Frederick against Myrtle Beach.

He is 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in four Keys starts and is coming off an outing where he gave up four runs and five hits over 3 2/3 innings for his worst pro outing to date.

O's add infielder: The Orioles have signed Kris Richards, a right-handed-batting infielder from UNC-Greensboro. Richards, who was not drafted, hit .342 during his senior year with five homers, 28 RBIs and a .505 slugging percentage. He will be assigned to the Gulf Coast League Orioles.

Richards is the third free agent the O's added after the draft. They also signed pitcher Sander Beck out of the University of Maryland, who is with short-season Single-A Aberdeen, and first baseman Nik Balog, who is 5-for-16 so far with the GCL club.

Still waiting on top picks: The Orioles' top two draft picks, LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman and Virginia pitcher Branden Kline, remain unsigned and there is no true progress to report at this point.

O's officials also seem to feel there have not been any issues with negotiations and they are just going through a normal process at this point. They still seem quite confident they will sign both players and anywhere from 25-30 draft picks before the July 13 signing deadline.

This morning the Orioles announced the signings of five more picks: Lex Rutledge (6), Kevin Grendell (11), Luc Rennie (16), Josh Hader (19) and Scott Kalush (39). That brings the total to 22 officially signed so far.

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