Take a deep breath. Remember the first law of baseball rumors: Probably nothing will happen. Okay, now don't freak out. The latest rumor being peddled on Wednesday comes from ESPN's Buster Olney, who writes that the Orioles "appear to be willing to talk about Kevin Gausman" as a possible trade piece.
As with most trade rumors, you have to bore deep into the words to find anything that resembles an actual fact that may at one point have originated with the Orioles front office. There is a whole lot of daylight between saying the Orioles "appear to be willing to talk about" Gausman and the Orioles actually trading Gausman in any kind of deal.
The first barrier to a move of that sort is that it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. If you trade Gausman, who's your starting pitcher? Bud Norris back into the rotation? Mike Wright or Tyler Wilson? You have not improved the team in that way. OK, so maybe it would be a trade for a starter... Cole Hamels? Johnny Cueto? It still sounds crazy even if you think about it for those guys, particularly Cueto, who's just a two-month rental.
Hamels, at least, is signed through 2018 - but at a cost of $23.5 million per year and his 2015 season just so happens to have the worst ERA he's posted since 2009. Oh, and by the way, in 31 career interleague starts, he has a 4.71 ERA.
There are players out there who could make the Orioles a better team, and the prospect of them doing nothing at the deadline and slipping out of the race as these weak spots are exposed is frustrating. But there's always something out there that makes the idea of doing nothing a whole lot more palatable - and trading Gausman is definitely one of those things.
It's not worth the panic. This rumor doesn't mean the Orioles are out there trying to trade Gausman to anybody, and even if it did, probably nothing will happen.