Mike Elias expects the Orioles to be ‘buyers’ at the trade deadline. How much is the question. | ANALYSIS

Last summer, Mike Elias didn’t allow the Orioles overachieving to alter his plans at the trade deadline.

About two months into the 2023 season, Baltimore is far outpacing projections once again, and the Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager said he expects the club to be “buyers” at the trade deadline for the first time in his tenure. But how far Elias is willing to go to bolster the 2023 roster — including moves that could impact the organization’s long-term future — will be the burning question.

About 10 months ago, he made the unpopular decision to sell at the deadline despite the Orioles being in a wild-card race. It appeared last summer as if Baltimore’s rebuild was over, but the decisions to trade away team leader Trey Mancini and All-Star closer Jorge López were quintessential rebuild moves.

Elias entered 2023 with much higher expectations, saying several times this offseason that his goal for the club was to make the playoffs. That goal is more achievable now than it was before the season, as the Orioles’ 33-18 record is the second-best in the major leagues — a position they’ve held for most of May.

But whether the Orioles overachieving this year will motivate Elias to push more chips to the center at this year’s Aug. 1 deadline remains to be seen.

“We’re thinking about the trade deadline. We’re aware of the standings right now. We’re aware of what we view our talent level to be. It’s all positive stuff,” Elias said before Friday’s game. “But it’s over two months away. It depends so much on other teams’ records and what their strategies are. I can’t tell what it’s gonna look like. We’re certainly doing the work in the warehouse to prepare for a number of different scenarios.

“So much can change on our end — I hope it doesn’t change on our end, and I don’t think it will. But we’ll see what happens around the league and where we’re at in the standings. And I just trust that the front office is doing what it should be doing to prepare for the trade deadline and we’re preparing to be buyers.”

After he traded away Mancini and López, Elias recognized that the moves amounted to a calculated “step back” for a team that was above .500 and just 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.

“It’s my job to manage the organization as a whole from top to bottom,” Elias said in August. “At times, there are opportunities that feel like a step back. But in the big picture, it’s a step forward for the entire organization.”

Shortly after that deadline is when Elias made his “liftoff from here” comment. The Orioles didn’t end up spending on a marquee free agent in the winter, instead electing to make marginal additions to bring in veterans Kyle Gibson, Adam Frazier, James McCann, Cole Irvin and Mychal Givens. But Baltimore’s play in 2023 (save for Friday night’s 12-2 drubbing at the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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