Orioles trade Givens to Rockies, more on Milone deal (updated)

The Orioles have swung their second trade of the day, sending reliever Mychal Givens to the Rockies.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported the trade, which has been confirmed. However, the return is currently unknown and this story will be updated shortly.

Givens, 25, was a second-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft who made the successful conversion from light-hitting shortstop to reliever. He allowed two runs this summer with 19 strikeouts in 13 innings.

Givens-Delivers-Gray-Sidebar.jpgOver six seasons and 296 appearances, Givens has gone 20-17 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.137 WHIP and 20 saves over 336 innings. He’s averaged 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings and been most dominant in the seventh and eighth innings.

Givens and Tommy Milone, dealt to the Braves this morning, are the latest veterans removed from a young clubhouse, following reliever Richard Bleier earlier this summer, pitcher Wade LeBlanc to a season-ending injury and starter Dylan Bundy and infielder Jonathan Villar via trades over the winter.

Outfielder Trey Mancini has been away from the club for the entire season after his diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer. First baseman Chris Davis is on the injured list.

More trades could be coming prior to Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

“I think that we’re aware of the situation and we’re aware of this is part of the game and this is part of what happens every single year,” manager Brandon Hyde said earlier today on his Zoom conference call with the media. “Sometimes with younger clubs you get even younger at the deadline, which means that other teams want some of your good players that you had. Tommy Milone was somebody that teams wanted because of how he’s pitched here, and that’s great for him. He put himself in that position to be wanted by other clubs.

“We were young already, we’re going to stay young and we’re going to stay inexperienced for this last month, and we’re just going to do the best we can with the guys that we have to continue to develop them and give them major league experience. We’re facing really, really good clubs, too, this last 20-plus games, so it’s going to be tough, but we’re going to do our best. Still happy with a lot of the guys we have here.”

Hyde mentioned last week how he was in “win-now mode.” Losing 10 of 12 and falling further behind the Blue Jays hasn’t changed his mind.

“I think we’re still trying to win every game we can,” he said.

“I know that we’ve hit a rough stretch. We’ve been a very, very streaky team this short season so far. I’m hoping that we can catch another hot streak at some point. We’ve had really good moments and we’ve had some not-so-good moments. We haven’t swung the bat very well the last week and a half. So hopefully some of our hitters get hot again and we can roll a bunch of runs out there like we were doing on that road trip that we had before.

“I’m going to continue to balance the development aspect as well as try to win every single night, and we’re going to give some guys some looks, like Jorge López, who’s going to pitch today in his mid-afternoon game to give him an opportunity. We really like his stuff and this is a guy who could potentially be a rotation piece, and we’ll take a look at a lot of these types of guys.”

The Orioles are still in the process of replacing Milone on the active roster today and could remove Hunter Harvey from the injured list, which would set up the former first-round pick to make his 2020 debut and provide a fresh bullpen arm for the club.

Harvey has been on the IL with a right forearm strain, but he threw to hitters at the alternate camp site in Bowie before joining the Orioles on the road trip. He recently stated that he’s using all of his pitches.

The last appearance by Harvey came on Sept. 13 in Detroit.

Hyde doesn’t know how he’s going to fill Milone’s spot in the rotation. He needs a starter for Monday afternoon in Buffalo.

Thomas Eshelman is an obvious candidate from the current roster. Keegan Akin was optioned three days ago but can replace a traded player.

“Tomorrow is still up in the air,” Hyde said. “This just happened this morning. I think we’re going to take a long look here today and figure out tomorrow. But we have candidates to be able to start here, some guys that have been in long relief roles and made spot starts. I think we have perfect guys that we could select to start tomorrow, so something we’re going to talk about today, for sure.”

César Valdez threw 46 pitches last night, none of them touching 90 mph, while working three scoreless innings in his first major league game since August 2017. Hyde is finding out how much rest Valdez requires between appearances.

“That’s actually why I took him out,” Hyde said. “He could have gone, obviously, a lot further last night, but I did want to have the opportunity to maybe pitch him sooner rather than later. I think he’s a veteran guy, he’s a bounceback guy from everything we’ve been told. He’s able to pitch multiple innings and maybe not need the rest and recovery that somebody else who doesn’t have his same experience.

“To be honest with you, he hardly threw any pitches in the bullpen last night and I put him in the game. And then he got his eight and I was a little bit nervous about it. But then when I saw his eighth pitch he threw about 10 mph to the catcher after he threw a seven and I figured he was ready to go. So I think he’s a guy that just really knows how to get ready, knows how to pitch, knows how to keep his arm in shape, understands how to limit pitches in the bullpen to save bullets. All those sorts of things. So I would assume that he’s able to bounce back fairly quickly.”

The Orioles are receiving two players to be named later from the Braves, who began exploring trade talks since Mike Soroka’s injury on Aug. 4, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Milone is starting tonight.

“Tommy is a guy who gave us some really good starts and a guy who was a class act on and off the field,” Hyde said. “Loved having him on the team. Fantastic in our clubhouse. A guy who gave us innings out of the rotation in a tough season. Threw strikes, hardly walked anybody, was able to change speeds and he’s able to navigate through good lineups. I’m happy for him and happy for Atlanta. I think he’s going into a good situation there. But it was really a pleasure to have him on our club in the short time that we had him.”

Perhaps their paths will cross again. It’s been known to happen.

“I think that the season’s been a short one so far, and interrupted, but I talked to Tommy and told him I’d love to manage him again sometime, just because I really enjoyed having him,” Hyde said.

“I thought he was a real class act and I think he enjoyed his time here, too. He said a lot of really nice things about what’s going on here and how he appreciated everybody here. He liked the team a lot and so hopefully in this small world we’re living in that someday I’ll be able to manage him again. But I would have liked to have gotten to know him a little better. I’d like to see him pitch in a normal season, but this year is just a different one.”

Update: The Orioles are receiving corner infielder Tyler Nevin, 23, and middle infielder Terrin Vavra, 23, plus a player to be named later in exchange for Givens.

Nevin, a right-handed hitter, was the 38th overall pick in the 2015 draft. He’s played first and third base and also has experience in left and right field. He’s hit .286/.362/.441 with 88 doubles, seven triples, 36 home runs and 193 RBIs in five minor league seasons - none above Double-A - and 1,546 plate appearances.

Nevin is the son of Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin. Vavra is the son of Tigers hitting coach Joe Vavra. Nice bloodlines.

Vavra was selected in the third round in 2018 from the University of Minnesota. He’s risen only to the high Single-A level, batting .313/.405/.483 with 40 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 78 RBIs and 27 steals in 652 plate appearances.

MLB Pipeline.com ranked Vavra as the Rockies’ No. 7 prospect and Baseball America had him 17th. Nevin was No. 13 by Baseball America and No. 14 by MLBPipeline.com.

Also, the Orioles recalled Akin from the alternate camp site and reinstated Harvey from the injured list. Akin doesn’t have to stay down for a minimum of 10 days because he’s replacing a traded player.

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