Over the next few weeks as the MLB Trade deadline of July 31 approaches, we will take a look at some potential trade targets for the Baltimore Orioles, but today we wanted to provide our opinion on what the Orioles priority list should be in the trade market. Believe it or not, we do not believe that a pitcher should be the top priority.
Already think we are crazy? Hang in there, we may change your mind.
Give up? We believe the top priority for the Orioles in the trade market should be a left handed bat.
As the Orioles roster is currently set up, there are four left handed hitters in Chris Davis, Nick Markakis, Flaherty and Lough, two of those are everyday players and the other two are just players. Lough and Flaherty have been so bad that neither are a regular occurrence in the lineup vs right handed pitchers. Yes, we understand that right now the DH spot is not open because of the hot bats of Steve Pearce and Nelson Cruz, but if Flaherty were any sort of threat he would play more at second base than he is right now.
Now imagine this scenario, Caleb Joseph is at the plate in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, bases loaded and trailing by one with Craig Kimbrel (or any other tough right handed reliever) pitching and Manager Buck Showalter wants to put a left hander up there, but looks at his bench and sees Flaherty and Lough, would you be comfortable with the decision he has to make?
Wouldn't it be nice if someone like Seth Smith was on that bench, now with Smith signing an extension last week to stay in San Diego, he is no longer on the trade market, but you get our drift.
There is a kicker here, Baltimore may not necessarily have to go out on the trade market to get that left handed bat as Steve Lombardozzi could fill that role, or perhaps a healthy Henry Urrutia later this season when he returns from Sports Hernia surgery, but whether it comes from within or via trade, the team's top priority needs to be to get a legitimate left handed bat that is a viable option late in a game and or can make a few starts a week against tough right handed pitchers.
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