Is it trade deadline speculation season already? That happened quickly.
Over on FOX Sports’ Just A Bit Outside, Jeff Sullivan highlighted three DH-types that the Baltimore Orioles could target at the trade deadline. With Jimmy Paredes falling back down to earth, Sullivan thinks the O’s could use a guy like Ben Zobrist, Wilin Rosario or Marlon Byrd.
This one, I’m on the fence about. The Orioles project very poorly at DH. The Orioles are projected to get the most at-bats from Jimmy Paredes at DH. Paredes has shown some real signs of breaking out, offensively. It’s possible that’s a real thing, and the projections are just slow to respond. But then, over the past month, Paredes has managed just a .601 OPS with one home run. He might be out of magic. And the Orioles aren’t out of the race. So they could make a move, and the neat thing about their situation is it affords them plenty of flexibility. They could get a DH, or Steve Pearce could DH, or Chris Davis could DH, or Delmon Young could DH, or . . .
Again, the Orioles are another team that could really use a healthy Zobrist for the second half. He’s a perfect Buck Showalter player, and a good fit for this roster, even though he’d be just another position player shortly due to become a free agent. As an alternative, the Orioles could call the Rockies on Wilin Rosario. Or maybe Marlon Byrd is a fast healer.
Zobrist is by far the best fit in Baltimore, but Billy Beane‘s asking price will be steep. The Orioles moved a big piece of their farm system last season, Eduardo Rodriguez, for an impact player at the deadline, Andrew Miller. I don’t believe they have the depth to do so again — especially for a rental player.
Rosario isn’t a free agent until 2018 and is slashing .284/.305/.471 in 38 games with the Rockies this season. However, Coors Field has been friendly to him. At home, he’s a .370/.404/.593 hitter, on the road he’s slashed just .188/.188/.333.
Perhaps Marlon Byrd could provide a spark in the lineup at DH, but he’ll be 38 at the end of the season and has seen his numbers dip substantially from where they were a season ago. The guy mashes left handed pitching though (.317/.404/.634 this season). Maybe the Orioles see that as an upgrade over lefty Travis Snider.