Potential Trade Targets For The OriolesPosted on April 30, 2014 by Dillon Atkinson
As we've seen through the first month of the season, the Orioles can't seem to get away from the .500 winning percentage. They won't hit a losing skid, nor get a good hot streak rolling. The addition of Gold Glove third baseman Manny Machado could definitely help out a bit. But remember, Machado doesn't pitch. Machado doesn't play first base while Chris Davis is out. Machado can't do it all. So obviously, the O's could use some help to push them over the rest in the AL East. It could very well be top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman. But if you think about it... Gausman is unproven. Maybe the O's could add some proven talent to boost their roster. So now, I'm going to take a look at who the Birds could target by the summer trade deadline.
Jeff Samardzija - RHP - Chicago Cubs
Samardzija is a starting pitcher that the Orioles have had on their radar for a little while. There were rumors last off-season that the O's and Cubs were talking about a potential "Samardzija-for-Wieters" deal. Obviously more pieces would be included, but the rumors quickly got shot down. To start 2014, the 6'5" pitcher has an 0-and-3 record with a 1.98 ERA in six starts. Obviously with that ERA, he's not getting wins due to lack of run support and/or bullpen support. Through his six games pitched, Samardzija is averaging almost seven innings pitched per start. Well obviously, that's something the O's would love.
Believe it or not, the Cubs have the pieces to be a winning team in the next couple years. They have plenty of young talent, and they expect the O's to offer young talent for their right-handed ace. If the Orioles were to trade for the 29-year old pitcher, they would have control of him through the end of 2015.
Steve Cishek - RHP - Miami Marlins
Cishek is in his second season as the Marlins closer and he's been doing a pretty darn good job. In 2013, he posted a 2.33 ERA while closing out 34 games in 36 save opportunities. To start this season, he's five for six in save opportunities with a 2.08 ERA. What I like the most about this side arm pitcher is that he can get both lefties and righties out. We all remember the horrendous job Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day did vs left-handed hitters last season. Yes, Tommy Hunter is getting the job done as the closer. But we all know that it hasn't looked pretty. If Hunter can't take control of the closers role, Steve Cishek could be a perfect fit in Baltimore. He would also be a familiar sight for former Marlin, Ryan Webb, who pitched as Cishek's set-up man last season. The O's may have to cough up more talent than usual though, due to the fact that the closer is under team control through the end of 2017.
Corey Hart - 1B/OF/DH - Seattle Mariners
Hart signed a 1-yr/$6M contract with the Mariners this past off-season, and has started off "ok." So far, he's batting .240, has a .337 OBP, and four long balls through 20 games. In 149 games last season, he finished with a .270 AVG, .334 OBP, .841 OPS, and 30 HR. There are multiple scenarios that would make the Orioles want to trade for the 10-yr veteran: Injuries, bad production, or just simply wanting to add another solid bat to the Orioles potent lineup. They'll probably have to give up more than just Xavier Avery like last season, but it could very well be worth it.
These are only a few of the potential trade targets that I have in mind. As the season goes along, I'll share who I think could help this ball club in the long run.
Have any questions or comments you'd like to share? Leave a comment below or let me know on Twitter at @DillonAtkinson_.