Continuing to look at potential trade targets for the Baltimore Orioles and the rumors surrounding them, we look away from starting pitching and to another position that could be upgraded: second base.
The Orioles have relied on rookie Jonathan Schoop and fellow second baseman Ryan Flaherty. Schoop in his first year, has done as expected, batting .219 with six home runs, and 21 RBIs. There is only room for improvement from Schoop, and his name has been included in trade rumors during this season. For the Orioles to make a deep run this year, they could use an upgrade at the position and to their lineup, and luckily for them, there are some good one’s out there to acquire.
First off is Chase Utley. The long time Phillies second baseman is one of the many players the struggling team could look to get rid of in hopes of rebuilding. Utley is hitting .295 this year and possesses an OPS of .801. Utley has done a great job of getting on base this year and is one of the few bright spots on the Phillies’ roster. Adding Utley would give the Orioles another left handed bat that could hit either second, sixth, or seventh in the order for them, and give them a major batting upgrade over Schoop.
Second is Ben Zobrist. Zobrist, like Utley, has been one of the few bright spots on his team’s struggling roster. Batting .269, Zobrist provides a solid bat from both sides of the plate, as well as strong defense from second base, or just about any other position on the field. Zobrist is younger than Utley and is also a better defensive player. He would give the Orioles a bat they could put just about anywhere in the order (although most likely at second, sixth, or seventh). The drawback of a potential acquisition of Zobrist is that the Rays would trade him in division, which rarely happens.
Finally is White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham. Beckham has been on the trading block for years now it seems and personally I would be upset if the O’s acquired Beckham as opposed to any other options at second base, or any other player from the White Sox (Pitcher Chris Sale). Beckham is batting .237 this season in 71 games and while he is more experienced than Schoop, it would be unwise to slow the rookies progress to replace him with Beckham.
While all three of these players may not necessarily be acquired by the O’s, the thought of either Utley or Zobrist contributing to the already stacked lineup that Baltimore possesses is a pleasant thought. Second base is probably the third or fourth most trade worthy position for the Orioles right now, but for a player of that caliber, it’s hard to argue against the thought.