During an interview session with media this afternoon that lasted almost 27 minutes, Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias confirmed that pitching is the top priority at the trade deadline.
Elias said that if a deal is made, bet heavily on it being on “the pitching side.” Whether it’s depth or an upgrade.
Middle relief is viewed as an area that still needs to be addressed.
Injuries to outfielders Cedric Mullins and Aaron Hicks are viewed as “temporary” and won’t prompt the club to expand their trade targets.
Elias also said the club won’t make a terrible trade and force it just to “say we did something.” He believes that the current roster is capable of making a deep playoff run, but the Orioles are trying to add to it in a seller’s market.
The focus is on 2023 and beyond. Elias said the Orioles won’t “set the minor league system on fire just because we’re in first place.”
Asked about subtracting from the 26-man roster, Elias said he’s wide open to anything while talking to the other 29 teams.
There’s no intent to trade from the major league roster, but if it must be considered, Elias won’t rule it out.
The front office has the green light to add payroll, but Elias said that doesn’t necessarily mean the Orioles will do it.
Managing the innings of younger starters has become more of a conversation.
Elias also provided some injury/rehab updates:
DL Hall will pitch two innings Saturday in the Florida Complex League. His fastball velocity is up to the mid-90s.
Jackson Holliday will miss several games with Double-A Bowie due to illness.
Dillon Tate isn’t on a throwing progression, but the Orioles remain hopeful that he joins them before the end of the season.
John Means and Mychal Givens should be pitching in the FCL by early August.
Keegan Akin should be pitching in the FCL and Triple-A by early August.
I’ll have a lot more later today.