Are O's positioned to be aggressive at the trade deadline? (plus other notes)

When Orioles executive vice president Mike Elias provided a media update for O’s reporters on Friday, of course, the trade deadline came up. And my question for Elias was are the Orioles well positioned to be aggressive at this deadline if they choose to be?

After all they do seem positioned very well, with the top-ranked farm system in the sport - one which is deep in top 100 prospects and other quality young talent. And a lower payroll creates flexibility to take on some salary should they choose to do that.

“We are definitely preparing all types of scenarios,” said Elias in the O’s dugout pregame Friday. “And they are buy scenarios. I just think the deadline, so much of it that is murky with me, is who the sellers will be? What will other teams try to do? What will the standings look like?

“These extra playoff spots seem to have really changed the landscape and dynamic and the balanced schedule (adds to that). You just see some weird stuff going on in each division compared to one another. So, it is really not clear to me what that is going to look like.

“So we’re just trying to get a clear sense of the type of players that might provide the biggest impact for us, where those players might be coming from. And trying to gauge any likelihood that any of these players might be on the market in some way, shape or form. And then working on the evaluations right now.

“Stuff definitely changes day-to-day in this business with injuries and all kinds of crazy stuff and it definitely changes week-to-week. Hard to get too far ahead of myself, but we’re putting the work in and I have a ton of confidence in our pro scouting staff and our analytic staff, the people that are on the front lines preparing for the trade deadline.”

Hyde’s support for Mateo: Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has been sticking with struggling Jorge Mateo at shortstop. Even as his offensive stats suffer big time this month, he still brings outstanding defense at short and speed as well.

Although he did make a key error to help along the Texas eight-run fourth last night as they beat Grayson Rodriguez and the Orioles 12-2.

Mateo started five of the six games on the road trip even as he was 3-for-42 (.071) his past 13 games heading into Friday’s series opener with Texas. Mateo hit .347 with an OPS of 1.062 in April but those numbers are now .101/.265 for May after he went 0-for-3 and chased several pitches with three strikeouts last night.

How much longer can the O's go with a player struggling this badly, even if he does bring top-notch defense? A .265 OPS for the month is really rough. Mateo is 1-for-18 his last six games.

Before yesterday's series opener with Texas, Hyde expressed support for Mateo.

“He’s pressing a little bit offensively,” said Hyde. “I think he really wants it badly offensively. … He’s trying to get results right now which is so hard to do. Earlier this year he was letting it happen, now he’s trying to get hits.

“But he’s doing a great job in separating that from his defense. And playing such a premium position, the way he plays it, that is what is really important to us right now. Just want him to take as good as an AB as he can possibly take and then play the defense he can play.”

About last night: Before Friday's 10-run loss, the O's worst defeat of the year was a 6-0 loss on May 3 at Kansas City. But this blowout leaves the Orioles at 33-18 and they fall to four games back of Tampa Bay, which beat the Dodgers 9-3.

Through 51 games, 46 of the O's games had been decided by four runs or fewer. This was the rare blowout they have been involved in this year. 

With two games to go in what will be a 22-game stretch versus winning record clubs, the Orioles are 12-8.

Texas began last night leading the majors in runs per game at 6.33 and then showed some reasons why they are doing that. In the earlier series between these teams in Arlington, Tex. last month, the O's held the Rangers to just seven runs in taking two of three games. But the Rangers broke out the bats last night.


Orioles option Rodriguez after last night's game
Leftovers for breakfast

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to