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Orioles trade Tommy Milone to Braves

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The Orioles signed Tommy Milone to a minor league contract and he ended up being a trade piece. Not bad.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Orioles didn’t wait until the day of the trade deadline to jump back into the trade pool. Sunday morning brought news from MLB.com’s Braves beat writer Mark Bowman that the O’s are trading left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone to the Braves. MLB Network’s Joel Sherman added that the trade is for two players to be named later.

The trade was officially announced at about 11:45am Eastern, in line with the previous reporting: Milone to the Braves for two players to be named later.

One reality of the strange circumstances of 2020 is that more trades will have the PTBNL return. That’s because the only players who can be officially traded are ones who are on a team’s 60-man player pool. Teams can agree on other players but they have to be officially named later. The O’s have already got one of these coming from them from the Marlins in the Richard Bleier trade, and now they’ve got two more coming from the Braves.

The O’s brought in Milone on a minor league contract in the very early days of the first attempt at spring training. Even as I expected the O’s to not be good and to end up trading away players, I never figured Milone would have much value. I forgot he was even in camp between March and July and had no excitement that he made the rotation or that he ended up being the Opening Day starting pitcher.

The Opening Day start wasn’t a great one by any means, though Milone ended up overcoming that in his next five starts. His six start tenure ends with a 3.99 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 1.265 WHIP, and a K/BB ratio of 31/4 in 29.1 innings.

For the Braves, who currently have a grand total of one starting pitcher who’s both good and healthy, that was enough to part with some players to be named later in order to bring in the 33-year-old Milone.

The top 12 Braves prospects are all in their player pool. If Mike Elias’s trades to date are any indication, the O’s are probably looking for either very young former international amateur signings or recently drafted players.

The most interesting thing in the short term for the Orioles is that a spot has been opened up in the starting rotation. Is it finally Keegan Akin’s time to get to make some starts? Could a different prospect be summoned from the alternate training site? Or will the O’s find a way to plug this hole without resorting to any prospects?