At the end of the day, the MLB trade deadline boils down to differing values of players who are more than numbers on a stat sheet.
Deals that involve the Jose Quintana’s of the world aren’t going to be done in the blink of an eye, neither will they consist of anything but a sure-thing involved in the return.
And if you think that sounds like the type of arm the Orioles would be seemingly interested in, you’re likely correct.
In that category, think along the lines of Matt Garza (1.25 WHIP in 44.2 innings) Scott Feldman (1.37 WHIP in 65.2 innings), and Trevor Cahill (1.21 WHIP in 41.1 innings).
Of course, there are also the pitchers who aren’t necessarily going to be extremely costly, but they’ll also come at a risk of dropping off after above-average starts to the season.
But, past deals have told us that average starting pitching can be acquired at the deadline for a relatively cheap cost.
Pitchers like Wade Miley and James Shields were dealt at last year’s deadline for prospects who weren’t considered to be world-beating talents at the Minor League level.
And if there is a realistic opportunity for the Birds to make a postseason run, there’s a good chance the team will be in the market for added help — namely another starting pitcher.
Of course, the team’s makeup doesn’t exactly fit the buy now mentality. In terms of available pitching, there are generally three tiers of starting options — the pitchers who aren’t necessarily on the block but could be dealt for a massive return (Yu Darvish, Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer, etc.), the “top deadline names” (think Jose Quintana and Sonny Gray) and those who are flying under the radar with above-average 2017 performances but won’t warrant a massive return in terms of top prospects.