BALTIMORE -- As the Orioles enjoy an off-day, it's as good a time as any to get into your latest Inbox questions. With the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Monday, there are plenty of rumors and speculation surrounding the O's.Do you think Zach Britton will be traded?
-- Sam L., Lynchburg,
BALTIMORE -- As the Orioles enjoy an off-day, it's as good a time as any to get into your latest Inbox questions. With the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Monday, there are plenty of rumors and speculation surrounding the O's.
Do you think Zach Britton will be traded?
-- Sam L., Lynchburg, Va.
No, I don't. Britton's name has been floating around there for a while, and with good reason: He had a historic season in 2016, is still young and is under team control until the end of '18. And while there has been plenty of reported interest in the lefty, I'd be surprised if the Orioles did move him. Why? One, his stock is down some. After two trips to the disabled list this year, teams are concerned about his health. Two, he hasn't performed nearly as well because of that. And the Orioles have no reason to sell low on a guy like Britton, who has been a huge part of what they're doing. It's possible, I just don't think it's likely he's moved before the Deadline unless they're blown away with a deal.
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Will the Orioles make a move at the Deadline?
-- Jeff R., Baltimore
I think they'll do something. They seem to always do something, though it's typically a smaller move and one that doesn't grab headlines outside of Baltimore. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette spoke about wanting to add pitching earlier this week. He also noted that there's not enough pitching to go around.
In the end, I think they look for trading partners for guys who will be gone at the end of the year: Seth Smith, Hyun Soo Kim and Welington Castillo (who has a player option for 2018). They aren't in a total rebuild scenario because the American League Wild Card race is still all jumbled up, and they've only got a small window remaining with this current core group.
What's the plan for Hunter Harvey?
-- Jon D., Aberdeen, Md.
Harvey, the organization's top right-handed pitching prospect, made his second rehab start on Wednesday in the Gulf Coast League, and he'll continue to work his way back before the Minor League season ends. While there was some thought to him pitching in the Arizona Fall League, the O's want Harvey to have a normal offseason and be ready to go this spring. Given how weak their current pitching depth is, a high prospect like Harvey could -- and should -- move quickly next year if he can stay healthy.
How are there no other options for the rotation now that are better than [Ubaldo] Jimenez?
-- Sam S.
I understand people get frustrated with Jimenez, but you never know when he's going to have a good outing and strike out nine, which is what transpired on Wednesday. He's very inconsistent, yes, but he's not the only Orioles pitcher who has struggled in the rotation. The O's have allowed guys to work out their struggles at the Major League level, like Jimenez, Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman, because there really aren't any better options. There are prospects like Chris Lee and Tanner Scott, sure, but they don't want to do things that past regimes did in promoting guys super early because of club need. The preference is to let those young players continue to develop.
The O's entered the season relying on their pitching staff to take a step forward. It was a gamble going in, and one that has shown just how thin their depth is. If there are moves to be made, they will make them. They've already tried Alec Asher in the rotation. They simply don't have any options that are markedly better than what they currently have.
Why is Kim even on this team? He never plays.
-- Jake F., Raleigh, N.C.
To be fair, Trey Mancini is having an impressive rookie year, and that makes it even tougher to find spots for Kim.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.