This Weekend’s Orioles Could Soon Look Very Different


Jul 24, 2009

This Weekend's Orioles Could Soon Look Very Different As the Orioles head into Boston for a weekend series at the Fens, you might want to get a good look at them. In a week's time, Baltimore could have a very different ballclub.

Sitting 16 1/2 games behind first-place New York (and five games out of fourth place, 10 games out of third place and 14 games out of second place), the Orioles are having a truly dreadful season (though at least they haven't fallen victim to a perfect game).

That being said, the Orioles are in a good position to build for the future. Last year, they may have gotten the better end of a deal that sent pitcher Erik Bedard to Seattle in exchange for reliever George Sherrill and outfielder Adam Jones.

Sherrill has been an effective reliever for Baltimore, but at age 32, he won't necessarily fit into the team's future plans. Because of that, he stands to be one of the most likely Orioles to be traded before the deadline.

Unfortunately for the offensively struggling Red Sox, a deal probably won't happen before Sunday, meaning they'll likely have to face Sherrill. In his career, Sherrill has handled the Sox well, posting a 1.80 ERA and five saves with 17 strikeouts in 18 appearances against Boston.

The word is that Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail's price is too high. But as the trade deadline inches closer and teams like the Cubs, Astros, Brewers and Rockies inch closer to the playoff picture, the value of a strong lefty arm in the bullpen could be a worthwhile pickup.

Another potentially former Oriole is third baseman Melvin Mora. The 37-year-old has been with the O's since the dawn of the millenium, but the Orioles have their sights set on the future. While hardly the productive hitter he once was, Mora's glovework is still decent and he could serve a contender well off the bench.

Mora is in the final year of a three-year, $25 million contract with a team option for 2010. Mora does hold a no-trade clause, but at this stage in his career, he'd probably want to jump on the chance to win a World Series. Mora hasn't played in the postseason since 1999, when he was a 27-year-old and with the Mets. Since then, Mora's played for a Baltimore team that's gone 674-875 (.435 winning percentage) and is on pace to finish with a losing record for the 12th straight year.

Though the O's might not get much in return for Mora, they may feel an obligation to give him a chance to win.

Regardless of who is on the move, MacPhail made it clear that making trades is the right thing to do for his team.

"This is the time of the year that general managers live for really," MacPhail told the Baltimore Sun. "In this circumstance, you're trying to take advantage of an opportunity to make your organization better in the future. At the end of the day, if we didn't do anything, it would be a little disappointing. But at the same time, you don't want to fall into doing something for the sake of doing something.

"Like always, we'll evaluate things on a case-by-case basis and see what makes sense for us."

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