Deadline day has arrived

The countdown to baseball’s trade deadline has gotten serious.

Teams have until 4 p.m. to make deals. They’re on the clock.

Here’s a final reminder, since no one wants to be lectured, that executives taking calls on a player isn’t news. Executives pushing to move a player or at least showing a willingness is news.

No one is going to screen calls and refuse to listen. And this is especially true for the Orioles, who aren’t placing an untouchable label on anyone.

You don’t lose 115 games, trade away your best players and make changes in the front office and with the manager and coaching staff and then stand pat.

And no, “Astroball” wasn’t a pamphlet. I checked again.

Of course, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias is hearing from clubs gauging the availability of Trey Mancini. He’s the most attractive trade chip. He’s affordable and under team control. And he can flat-out hit.

Teams can plug him into the outfield or at first base.

I’ll repeat that Mancini seems more likely to stay, that the Orioles aren’t aggressively shopping him, from what I’ve been told. However, all it takes is one offer that’s too good to pass up.

Villar-High-Fives-Dugout-at-LAA-Gray-Sidebar.jpgI’d expect Jonathan Villar to go before Mancini because he’s a guy who most definitely has been shopped. He’s making $4.83 million this season and would be a serious non-tender candidate heading into the winter.

Villar already has two arbitration years under his belt. He isn’t going to be around when the Orioles are ready to compete unless it’s the fastest rebuild in history. So it makes total sense to trade him.

I’ve reported that the Orioles talked to the Cubs about Villar, but there wasn’t enough interest to consummate a deal. That’s an aggressive approach. It’s not the same with Mancini.

Villar and Mychal Givens are the players to watch today unless the industry throws us a curve. That’s always possible.

Givens wasn’t used yesterday in a save situation. Unroll the jumping to conclusions mat.

Claiming infielder José Rondón yesterday gives the Orioles a ready replacement if Villar or Hanser Alberto is traded. Pretty easy to connect those dots.

Meanwhile, third baseman Rio Ruiz was reinstated yesterday from the temporarily inactive list and assigned to Double-A Bowie.

He stays close to Camden Yards.

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