NEW YORK -- Jonathan Schoop's eyes were bloodshot red. Kevin Gausman was visibly choked up, voice breaking and T-shirt doubling as a tissue to dab at his face. Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline swaps of both Schoop and Gausman, young players still under team control, rocked the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee
NEW YORK -- Jonathan Schoop's eyes were bloodshot red. Kevin Gausman was visibly choked up, voice breaking and T-shirt doubling as a tissue to dab at his face. Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline swaps of both Schoop and Gausman, young players still under team control, rocked the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium and were the latest in a two-week purge that has resoundingly answered any questions surrounding how serious the last-place Orioles are about starting over.
"I felt like if we were going to get rid of Schoop, it was going to be a rebuild," said Gausman, who was sent to the Braves along with reliever Darren O'Day for four Minor Leaguers -- righty Evan Phillips, infielder Jean Carlos Encarnacion, catcher Brett Cumberland and left-hander Bruce Zimmermann -- and international signing bonus slot money.
"Getting rid of me and Darren is part of it too. So, it's kind of a sad day. You see the band kind of broken up."
Gausman, under team control through 2020, was not part of the O's three-year plan that executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has referenced several times in this rebuild. Neither was Schoop, who is a year and a half from free agency and was dealt to Milwaukee for second baseman Jonathan Villar, right-handed pitching prospect Luis Ortiz and infield prospect Jean Carmona.
"I think it's easier if you do all of the work when you get started. It's a lot like building a house -- it's easier if you demolish the foundation and build it from the ground up rather than renovating it one room at a time," Duquette said. "That's what we are doing with the ballclub, trying to rebuild a ballclub as quickly as we can."
Duquette said there were internal discussions about keeping both Gausman -- the first-round Draft pick in 2012, Duquette's first year in the organization -- and Schoop, who is the reining American League Player of the Week.
But could they have? Perhaps. Schoop confirmed Tuesday that the Orioles did not have any extension talks with his camp, and he's the latest star infielder -- following best bud Manny Machado -- to be dealt this month. In total, the O's will save about $35 million in salary with their flurry of trades, which includes Atlanta picking up the remainder of O'Day's salary.
"I cannot say that," Schoop said when asked if he was disappointed the club hadn't tried to lock him up long term. "They know what they're doing. They know what's good for them. Maybe they have something differently planned, They told me they want a rebuild. The one thing I know to go out there and play baseball. The business side, I know nothing about it so they know more than me."
Schoop -- signed as a teenager out of Curacao -- had a down first half coming off a career year in 2017, but he homered in five consecutive games last week to help up his trade value. Gausman (39-51, 4.22 ERA in six seasons with Baltimore) is 5-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 21 games this season. O'Day, 35, is out for the season as he recovers from hamstring surgery. He signed a four-year, $31 million deal in 2016 and approved the trade to Atlanta.
Tuesday's departures bring the Orioles' total to 15 new players this month in exchange for six key pieces of their Major League roster. Machado netted them five prospects from the Dodgers, Zach Britton three from the Yankees. They traded reliever Brad Brach to Atlanta on Sunday for international signing bonus slot money.
"It had to be done, we knew it," said manager Buck Showalter, who -- along with Duquette -- is in his own precarious situation with a contract that expires this year. "I don't think anybody is going to apologize for going for it this year. We saw it wasn't going to be there, we went in a different direction. You got to know who you are and know who you are not and have a plan of attack and move forward. And we are. We are a better, deeper organization today."
The 22-year-old Ortiz is ranked as the Orioles' No. 7 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and the 18-year-old Carmona was ranked No. 14. Encarnacion enters the O's system at No. 15, while Cumberland is 30th. Villar is currently on the disabled list with a right thumb sprain but is expected to join the O's in Texas later this week.
Also notable is that the club did not trade Adam Jones. Despite several offers for Jones' services -- and the payroll they would have shed -- the center fielder chose to exercise his 10-and-5 rights and blocked any potential deal. He will be a free agent at season's end.
"Obviously there was a lot of discussion, I think there's a natural inclination to want to keep good players on your team," Duquette said. "These are tough decisions for the Orioles' organization. But, when you take a step in a big direction you might as well take off running because it's going to be a long time to get to the finish line on the other side. That's kind of what we decided we were going to do today."
Still, it marks the end of an era for an Orioles club that made three postseason trips in six years, including winning the American League East and advancing to the ALCS in '14 (losing to the eventual World Series champion Royals). Of the six players dealt this, all but Gausman were All-Stars at one point in their tenure with the O's.
"I was part of some good teams here. Obviously, the last two years have been a little frustrating, both on us and on the fans and on our staff too. Unfortunately, that's the way I'm going out," said Gausman, who said he never felt like he pitched to his abilities for a good chunk of his O's time.
"But I was part of 2014, and had some big innings in the playoffs. I felt like I was part of the teams that helped bring quality baseball back to Baltimore. That 2014 was something special."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.