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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Beating the Jays and making trades

The deadline has passed, the Orioles continue to cruise in Canada, and Mancini is DFA’d by the Cubs

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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles had themselves a good day. First, they made a trade that filled one of their needs without giving up the farm. And then, they spanked the Blue Jays to clinch the season series against them with five more clashes to come. Both things could prove crucial down the stretch.

Jack Flaherty is not the ace that the Orioles rotation desperately needs. Four or five years ago would have been a whole different story. But today, he is a back-end rotation piece on an expiring contract. It doesn’t move the needle a whole lot.

That doesn’t make the Orioles addition of him bad. Serviceable big league starters do not grow on trees, as the Orioles have learned in recent seasons. Flaherty is one of those, and he is coming off of a really nice July.

The package of prospects they gave up seems fine as well. Going 3-for-1 on this type of pitcher feels somewhat heavy. But the Orioles also went quantity or quality. There are no “Top 100” types in the deal, and no one that is particularly close to that conversation. César Prieto was way down the organizational depth chart on the middle infield. Drew Rom projected more as a swingman than a rotation fixture. And Zack Showalter is so young that he represents something of a lottery ticket. You don’t want to give those up, but sometimes it’s required.

Mike Elias achieved his goal of protecting the core of his minor league system, while also landing a modest upgrade to the big league roster. Apparently he is banking on some internal solutions to the current crisis in the bullpen. That isn’t completely unreasonable with DL Hall back at Norfolk, John Means getting close to a rehab stint, and both Keegan Akin and Mychal Givens on the comeback trail. Something has to stick, right? Not necessarily. It would have been much simpler to add a reliable veteran arm to the ‘pen prior to yesterday’s deadline.

The Orioles now ride with what they have. It’s been good enough to get them this far into the season as the AL’s best team. Perhaps Flaherty and a smattering of internal promotions will be enough to push their ceiling even higher.


More on the impact of Jack Flaherty trade, yesterday’s deadline madness | Roch Kubatko
It will be interesting to see how the Orioles approach can help Flaherty. He’s always been a big talent, and this organization has shown an ability to get more out of pitchers in recent seasons. It would be great if they uncover something more in the two months he wears the uniform.

Like offseason, Orioles’ trade deadline evokes questions of whether they could have done more | The Baltimore Sun
I find it hard to believe they couldn’t add some sort of bullpen piece. It would not have cost much. Unless the front office truly viewed the previous deal for Shintaro Fujinami as the deal to help the relief situation. Ugh.

Former Orioles star Trey Mancini is designated for assignment by Cubs to make room for Jeimer Candelario | The Baltimore Sun
It would make no sense, but I would still like the Orioles to re-sign Trey Mancini for one day this season so that he gets one of their inevitable World Series rings. And I am only half-joking.

MLB trade deadline takeaways 2023: Ranking the winners, losers & snoozers | The Athletic
We’re winners! At least, according to this group of writers at The Athletic. I’m sure John Angelos cannot wait for the trophy to arrive in the mail!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Parker Bridwell turns 32. He pitched in two games in relief for the 2016 O’s and was then plucked off waivers the following offseason.
  • Matt Riley is 44 years old. The southpaw’s stint with the Orioles was chopped into two portions, although he remained in the organization the entire time. His big league debut came in 1999 and then he didn’t make it back to Baltimore until 2003. His longest stay was 14 games in 2004.

This day in O’s history

2022 - The Orioles trade away their all-star closer Jorge López to the Twins in exchange for Yennier Cano, Cade Povich, Juan Nunez, and Juan Rojas.