Baltimore Sun

Good, bad and ugly: Ranking 17 trades

Success of player-for-player swaps by GM Mike Elias put under the microscope

- By Nathan Ruiz

The trade deadline is approachin­g, and the Orioles have done little to clarify the direction executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias might take.

Even in dropping a series to the vaunted New York Yankees, these Orioles showed how competitiv­e they can be if they are kept together and potentiall­y added to. But they remain in last place in the American League East, and in a crowded wild-card race, their path to the postseason is anything but clear. Elias and company might decide that the best direction for the organizati­on to take is to trade away some current players to continue to stock talent for future and more likely playoff runs.

Since becoming Baltimore’s general manager in November 2018, Elias has made 17 deals in which the Orioles traded one or more players away and got at least another in return. Of those who have come to Baltimore, only one had played in the majors previously. Buying at the deadline would be a shift for Elias, requiring for the first time that he forfeit pieces from the stockpile of prospects he’s built to add to the major league team.

With the Aug. 2 deadline little more than a week away, it seems a good time to look back at Elias’ player-for-player trades.

Here, they’re categorize­d in four ways. Early successes are those that are trending well for the Orioles, already resulting in major league pieces with the possibilit­y of adding more. The wait-and-see category represents those where the end result isn’t quite clear yet, with many of Elias’ trades adding prospects incredibly far from the majors. Some of these deals have been washes, with the Orioles’ return never amounting to much before leaving the organizati­on while the player they traded didn’t necessaril­y burn them. The final grouping is the regrettabl­e deals, and there’s only one that plainly classifies as such: the first of these trades Elias made.

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