A couple of days ago, Orioles GM Dan Duquette told reporters that no matter what happened during the team's current road trip, the team would approach the trade deadline as buyers. Perhaps he meant it at the time. Perhaps not. Perhaps the team getting swept in New York was an occasion to reconsider his position. Today's rumor, floated by FOX's Jon Morosi, is that the Orioles are giving "serious consideration" to being sellers at the deadline.
Remember, always, the first law of baseball rumors: Probably nothing will happen. That's still true even if it's a rumor that may align with your personal opinion. Don't be more likely to believe something just because it matches what you already think! But it is certainly the case that after watching the Orioles get swept in New York, with little offense to be found, selling looks more tempting as a way to get better for the future.
Morosi names Chris Davis and Matt Wieters as the possible trade chips if the team decides to sell. It would be sad to see either one go, though particularly in the case of Wieters, it might be for the best. Wieters' recent performance has not been inspiring and getting something for him now rather than worrying about whether or not he'll be worth the qualifying offer or whether or not he might take it could be the ideal scenario for the team.
As for Davis, well, you do have to give up something to get something. In trading either of these two players, the O's would probably get at least a little bit of salary relief that they could store for next year, or, if they are willing to pay some salary they might get better prospects from some other team.
The Thursday trade between the Astros and Athletics that sent Scott Kazmir to Houston for a couple of minor leaguers is probably the best indication of what any of the Orioles' pending free agents might fetch in trade. Kazmir, a strong 2015 performer who is a pending free agent, was traded for a pair of fairly recent draftees in High-A - one possible back-end starter but probable reliever, and one bat-first catcher.
The Orioles will need to consider, is that kind of return better than getting a shot in the early-30s for a compensation pick? Picks in that range come with about $1.8 million in slot money, which isn't chump change. It also gives the Orioles some freedom to potentially sign a qualifying offer free agent without feeling like they're burning up their entire draft. Grabbing your first pick at like 35 isn't ideal, but it's better than waiting until the 50s.
Better yet, maybe they can go ahead and win the next six games and forget all of this potential seller business.
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