BALTIMORE -- In the end, the Orioles didn't trade coveted relievers Zach Britton or Brad Brach. They didn't deal away Welington Castillo or Seth Smith. Instead, Baltimore -- rumored to have at least half a dozen of its current players on the trade market -- added both pitcher Jeremy Hellickson
BALTIMORE -- In the end, the Orioles didn't trade coveted relievers Zach Britton or Brad Brach. They didn't deal away Welington Castillo or Seth Smith. Instead, Baltimore -- rumored to have at least half a dozen of its current players on the trade market -- added both pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and shortstop Timothy Beckham in advance of Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"There was various interest in a lot of our players," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "But I still like this team. I like this team for this year and I like this team for next year."
Duquette had previously publicly voiced that he believes this Baltimore team, which entered Monday 5 1/2 games out of the American League Wild Card, still has a chance. He reiterated that to the large group of reporters prior to the O's series opener with the Royals.
"You do one or two things right and you get on a roll, there's still hope. There's still hope," he said. "That second Wild Card keeps hope alive for a lot of teams. Frankly, I'm glad we are adding. I'd much rather be adding this time of year than subtracting."
There was certainly thought to subtracting, considering the discussions surrounding Britton with pretty much all of the contending teams leading up to the Deadline. Brach also drove a fair amount of interest as did late-inning reliever Mychal Givens.
"We have a strength in our team in that bullpen and I'm glad they are playing for us," Duquette said. "To me, Britton is one of the top relievers in the American League. And there was a steep price paid for the relievers that were traded last year and that really wasn't the market this year."
Instead of selling low on Britton, who teams were wary of coming off of a forearm injury, the O's will roll the dice on a group that will largely have to be dismantled after the 2018 season.
While Hellickson is a rental and will be a free agent at the end of the year, Beckham is under team control through 2020 and should help an Orioles infield without J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty immediately.
Duquette cited Beckham's pedigree as a former No. 1 Draft pick (in 2008) and his upside as key in the deal, which sent Minor League pitcher Tobias Myers to Tampa Bay. The 27-year-old Beckham batted .259/.314/.407 (82-for-317) with five doubles, three triples, 12 home runs, 31 runs, and 36 RBIs in 87 games with the Rays this season.
"Beckham should help us," Duquette said. He's got a good bat, excellent power numbers for a middle infielder. He's proven to be solid defensively at second and short. And I think he's just starting to come into his own as a ballplayer."
The Orioles were also very excited about acquiring Hellickson.
"What we like about Hellickson is he's been a top performer in the league since he came into the league as a rookie. He's an outstanding competitor, he knows how to win in the American League East having pitched in Tampa and he's a very dependable, solid starting pitcher, which is something we've been looking to solidify this year," Duquette said.
The O's also made another 40-man move, adding right-hander Yefry Ramirez from the Yankees in exchange for international signing bonus pool money. Ramirez, 23, is 10-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Trenton this season and adds pitching depth. He will report to Double-A Bowie.
"I think we have the people in there, some additions people think are small could be big. Some things could happen tomorrow and the next day and next day," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the O's decision to keep Britton and Brach. "I look more at making what we have be better in some areas. See if we can get into the fight a little bit more."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.