Baltimore Orioles trade deadline: Starting pitching edition

White Sox ace Chris Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA this season, and is rumored to be on the trading block.

White Sox ace Chris Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA this season, and is rumored to be on the trading block.

 

The Baltimore Orioles lost one of their potential trade targets this week in pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The Chicago Cubs sent Samardzija and fellow starter Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s, leaving the Orioles out of luck on acquiring the right-hander.

Luckily for the O’s, there are many other potential trade targets available, and they would be upgrades over Samardzija anyway.

First is David Price. The long time Tampa Bay Ray has been included in trade rumors since just about the beginning of the season. With the Rays struggling this season, they could look to dump Price to begin rebuilding for next season. Price currently leads the league in strikeouts with 153, and possesses a 7-7 record with a 3.50 ERA. Not only would acquiring Price instantly give the Orioles a solidified ace, it would also take away a pitcher that dominates against them in the division.

The next best starting pitcher rumored to be on the market is White Sox ace Chris Sale. Sale has missed some games this season due to injury but currently is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA. Sale is unhittable at times and at just 25 years old, has many more good years to come. The White Sox have struggled for a few years now and Sale has been a potential trade piece each season. Adding Sale would give the Orioles one of the top left handed pitchers in the game and a starter who is among the best in the AL yearly.

For either of these players, the Orioles would have to give up at least one, if not multiple top prospects, including pitcher Hunter Harvey as rumors have suggested. Likewise, players like Jonathan Schoop have been rumored to be targeted by other teams as pieces of a trade.

As a fan, I would give up Harvey, Schoop, and one other minor leaguer in a heartbeat for either Price or Sale. The acquisition of either player would instantly have a major impact on the Orioles and would continue to for years to come, if they were resigned. Both players are young and would pitch for multiple seasons for the O’s (hopefully) and just imagine the rotation next year of Price/Sale, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, and any two other players.

The Orioles tend to acquire veteran pitchers late in the season (see Scott Feldman and Joe Saunders) that pitch at an average level for the rest of that season and then are lost to free agency. It’s not very often that pitchers of this caliber are on the market and the Orioles would be incredibly smart to weigh the option of making a move of this sort.

The team currently is two games up on the Blue Jays for first place in the AL East with what has been an average starting rotation the entire season. Adding a legitimate number one starter who can dominate in each start would put the Orioles over the top and give them an ever greater chance of winning as the rotation goes around.

  • george

    In what universe would harvey, schoop and “one other prospect” not named bundy, gausman ever fetch sale or price?

    • O’sFan89

      You clearly don’t realize how good Hunter Harvey is. Will be a top 25, if not top 20, guy on all the top prospect lists next year.

      • Matt Hamm

        I agree with you that Hunter Harvey is a big time prospect. But for someone like Sale (Price not so much since he’s a FA after next year) the O’s would probably have to include either Gausman or Bundy. I wouldn’t trade either of those guys. Gausman has showed he’s ready now, Bundy will likely impact the O’s rotation the same next year as Gausman has this year. If given the choice, I prefer Sale. I would give up Harvey, Eduardo Rodriguez, Christian Walker and another young piece in a heartbeat. I hesitate to include Schoop, kid has tons of potential and is our everyday 2B now. With Hardy likely gone after this year, it’s very likely the O’s need him at 3B next year (with Machado moving back to SS) given how good Schoop’s arm is.

        • Mike

          Yeah, Sale is under contract for 5 years after this year, so we would probobly have to let go of bundy, harvey and schoop. I would do harvey and schoop in a heartbeat, though i agree Harvey is a top 25 prospect, and i would probably throw e-rod too. Might still be too little though.

          • george

            Regardless, the package should focus around Price. I have heard 0 rumors about Sale being on the market. Jon Paul Morosi of fox sports reported that the white sox aren’t even shopping Quintana. Doesn’t make sense then that Sale would be available.

            Hunter Harvey could be great… But the market suggests that him as a centerpiece will not get someone the caliber of Price. A’s built a package around addison russell (consensus number 3 prospect) and got Samardija, Hammel (a very good package but not the same caliber as Price). For those who disagree with this Price won AL Cy Young pitching in AL East. Samardjia has never pitched in the AL before. With that being said Samardjia does have an additional year of control.

          • Mike

            Sale may very well not be available, but i don’t see a trade like this happening between two teams in the same division. We probably won’t shop a TOR starter this year, and thb, i am glad. I would rather see us keep our big 3 because they all can be MLB starters, and one or more could be a price type guy.

          • Jack Lee

            Harvey Hunter/Bundy/Schoop aren’t going anywhere. Classic overpayment. Look, years ago, Andy McPhail got Adam Jones and Chris Tilman for Bedard from Seattle. How did that work out? You never trade top prospects, that is almost always a mistake.

            You have to wait until Chicago is at the trade deadline, needs to make a move, and throw a B prospect or two out there. That’s how it’s done. To trade Bundy or Schoop or Hunter is a sign of desperation and the Orioles being in first place, aren’t desperate.

          • Mike

            Not saying they should trade them, only saying that would be the price for an Ace.

  • millerforrest

    You stated that “the next best starting pitcher is Chris sale.”
    Seriously? Sale is so much better than Price and its not funny.
    Sales 2.16 E.R.A. vs Price’s 3.50 is almost 1.5 runs LESS per game! Chris Sale is the BEST left handed pitcher out there and only the Dodgers Kershaw might be a better starting pitcher.

    • JOSHST21

      I usually don’t get into these things. But Price struggled at the beginning of the year. He has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball his last 4-5 starts. But then Again Kershaw is literally un hittable. For you to say Sales is better is a joke! He has pitched in less games. If you take Price last 8 starts he’s better than Sales. But I will say I would prefer Sales bc he’s only 25. But he’s not proven to be better yet. His numbers are deceiving bc it’s far less innings.

      • millerforrest

        You are an idiot! Chris Sale is by far the better pitcher. Case closed.

        • Matt Hamm

          I gotta agree here, Sale is better than Price right now and has been for at least a year. Sale is among the top 10, if not 5 pitchers in all of baseball.

          • Jack Lee

            And with those messed up nightmare mechanics of Sale he’d probably fail the Orioles physical, so I don’t see a trade happening.