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Saturday Bird Droppings: The trade deadline has come and gone

The trade deadline is behind us, Matt Harvey is good again, and DL Hall’s year is probably done.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Not everyone will agree, but the Orioles’ had a pretty good deadline day for my money. They unloaded Freddy Galvis, a shortstop they had already replaced (arguably upgraded upon), and Shawn Armstrong, a relief pitcher that was no longer even on the 40-man roster. At the same time, they held onto the big names and a slew of relief pitchers with oodles of team control remaining. Based on the chatter online, there was a large contingent of Orioles fans that would have preferred to see Tanner Scott or even Paul Fry get out of town for just about any offer that was available. Clearly, Mike Elias had different ideas.

Don’t get me wrong, if the Orioles were offered something remotely interesting for a reliever I may have been inclined to accept. Although the club is poised to compete again at some point while Scott, Fry, and Cole Susler are still under team control, the volatility of relief pitchers rarely incentivizes hanging onto them for very long. But it’s quite possible that an interesting offer never really materialized, and if that is the case it makes sense to stand pat and try again over of the winter or next deadline.

The bigger reason for celebration, in my view, is that Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, and John Means are still Orioles.

Yes, Mancini has just one year of arbitration remaining, but he’s also a crucial member of this organization, and it is still within the realm of possibility that he is offered a contract extension. If team chemistry matters even a little bit to winning, it’s tough to find a person more instrumental to fostering a strong clubhouse culture than Mancini. It is nice to have him around rather than some random 20th-best prospect from the depths of a club vying a second wild card spot.

Mullins and Means sticking around sends a message that the Orioles may feel they are nearing an opportunity to compete. With promotions of Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, and possibly DL Hall on tap for 2022, that makes 2023 a year to keep an eye on. Mullins and Means would play a crucial role if that is the case.


Matt Harvey sets new career scoreless inning streak, O’s hold on for win | Camden Chat
These last three starts from Matt Harvey may be the best he has ever thrown in his career, and this is a guy that received Cy Young votes once upon time. His carriage may be about to turn back into a pumpkin, but it’s pretty darn fun for now.

Elias talks about trade deadline, minor league injuries and more | School of Roch
There is still no update on Heston Kjerstad, which is disappointing but not surprising. Elias did say that the belief with the organization is that Kjerstad’s current health troubles are “something [the Orioles] think will pass,” and I would imagine that is based on some level of information he has. But still, it’s unfortunate for him to stay off the field this long.

Phillies Tug At Heartstrings with Freddy Galvis’ Return | FanGraphs
There are some interesting notes in here about the one prospect the Orioles did add on Friday, righty Tyler Burch. He is a relief prospect that excels at missing bats and has seen his “stuff” take a lead forward this season.

O’s pitching prospect DL Hall likely done for year with elbow injury | The Baltimore Sun
Hall’s injury was noted in Roch’s report, but we like to spread the love here. It is being called a “stress reaction,” which sounds ominous, but things could be OK. Yu Darvish had something similar in 2018. It did end his season after just 40 innings, but then he returned to make 31 starts in 2019.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Mike Figga turns 51. The former catcher made his way into 41 games with the 1999 Orioles in what would prove to be his final bite at the big league apple.
  • Earl Stephenson celebrates his 74th birthday. The southpaw pitched in three games for the O’s between 1977 and ‘78.
  • The late Joe Durham (d. 2016) was born on this day in 1931. The outfielder played two seasons with the Orioles, 1954 and 1957, which were separated by military service.
  • The late Rip Coleman (d. 2004) was born on this day in 1931 as well. The lefty made his way into eight games with the O’s between 1959 and ‘60.

This day in history

1971 - O’s pitcher Pat Dobson records his 8th victory in the month of July, part of a streak that has seen him win 12 straight since June 16th.

2000 - The O’s make a pair of deals. First, they send outfielder B.J. Surhoff and catcher Gabe Molina to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Trenidad Hubbard and two minor leaguers, Fernando Lunar and Luis Rivera. Then, they trade first baseman Will Clark to the Cardinals for infielder Jose Leon.

2013 - On the buying side of things for once, the Orioles add pitcher Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in a deadline deal that sends outfielder L.J. Hoes and pitching prospect Josh Hader to the rebuilding ‘Stros.

2016 - Wade Miley goes from the Seattle Mariners to the Orioles in exchange for pitching prospect Ariel Miranda

2018 - In full sell-off mode, the Orioles unload pitchers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Atlanta Braves. Then they ship infielder Jonathan Schoop to the Milwaukee Brewers.