Once the Orioles completed and announced their trade with the Red Sox Saturday afternoon, swapping Andrew Cashner for Rookie-level Dominican Summer League outfielder Elio Prado and infielder Noelberth Romero, the logical question hung in the air like a mile-high pop up.
Waiting for the next shoe to drop has become its own sport. And you don’t sweat as much.
Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias isn’t done, at least in his attempts to move other players. It might not happen. He said nothing is imminent and added, “I don’t know if we’ll make any more deals. I really don’t.”
But he’s going to try.
Dylan Bundy is another trade chip who might have to stay after going on the injured list with tendinitis in his right knee. He allowed seven runs in the first inning in his last start and while rival executives could point to the knee discomfort as an explanation and feel confident that the injury isn’t serious, they still may be reluctant now to part with much.
The Orioles aren’t seeking top prospects in the upper levels of the farm system. However, they’re not going to just give away Bundy, especially while he’s still under team control beyond the 2019 season. There’s no urgency to move him and they wouldn’t be selling high.
I wrote over the weekend that the Phillies had serious interest in Cashner and certainly would have sent a scout to Camden Yards yesterday to watch him pitch prior to the trade. They also like Bundy and reliever Mychal Givens, based on what I’ve heard via industry chatter, and the latter most definitely is in play.
I’ve heard that the Phillies are going to have a scouting presence in Baltimore this week. They’re checking out Givens, who was dominant again Saturday in a two-inning save, getting a double play and striking out two batters.
Their organization is loaded with former Orioles, so they’re already quite familiar with his body of work.
Givens has allowed one run in his last six appearances covering seven innings. He’s struck out 10 batters and his ERA is down to 4.50.
This is the exact uptick that the Orioles needed from Givens and that potential trade partners wanted to see before talks could get serious. Nice timing.
The Orioles definitely are open to trading Givens, according to multiple sources, which is a dramatic shift from their previous stance. He avoided arbitration over the winter by agreeing to a $2.15 million contract and is eligible for free agency in 2022.
The team isn’t worried about punching a few more holes in the pitching staff. Why stop at the rotation?
The Nationals had a scout at Camden Yards over the weekend and they also like Givens for a bullpen that’s in constant repair, but there are the obvious challenges in getting the two sides to work out a deal. That’s a hard one to consummate.
I’m hearing that the Orioles are focusing again on getting young prospects from the lower levels of the minors in any trade discussions. As they did while moving Cashner to the Red Sox.
Elias said he isn’t necessarily adhering to the same framework, but it appears that his preference is becoming evident. The Orioles have scouts spread out in Florida at Rookie-level Gulf Coast League games, a list that I’m told includes Rich Amaral - hired last summer by Brady Anderson - and Nathan Showalter.
The Cashner deal already proved that they have a keen interest in international talent that can be plugged into Dominican Summer League rosters.
If Givens is dealt, there’s a decent chance that the return will involve players in the 17- to 18-year-old age range.
Other Orioles are on the table and can be moved in the right offer, including infielder Jonathan Villar, an acquisition from the old regime who’s making $4.825 million and remains arbitration eligible. The Orioles have given teams the impression that they’re amenable to trading anybody, though there’s going to be more reluctance with Trey Mancini.
Even so, no one is untouchable. Some are just a little harder to pry away.
Mancini is in the worst slump of his career, hitless in his last 24 at-bats. But he smoked a ball to center field yesterday while the Rays were attempting to toss the first combined perfect game in major league history and he made a sliding catch in right field.
I’ve heard a theory that Mancini might be more valuable to the Orioles than other teams, but Elias certainly will be fielding some calls about him.
I’d be surprised if Mancini is traded, but I’ll repeat that no one is untouchable.
Note: The Orioles activated outfielder DJ Stewart from the injured list last night and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.