These orioles have already defied the odds. Traded in Trey Mancini, GM Mike Elias challenges him to do it again.

Unless they prove otherwise, the Orioles, a winning team in reach of a playoff spot, are the sellers.

In your first summer business, Orioles send their longest-serving player Trey Mancini to Houston Astros A three-team deal also includes the Tampa Bay Rays for a pair of well-regarded pitching prospects. hours later, Baltimore beat Texas Rangers To go above .500 and within 2 1/2 games of a playoff spot.

Offering an explanation for the seller’s move, Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias pointed to suspicions that Baltimore’s astonishing performance continued through the final two months of the season, all the while Mancini’s contract guaranteed that He will remain Oriole. Instead, he sought to maximize his chances of success in future seasons rather than the current season.

“I think we have the .500 record, the wins we have over the last few months, the momentum we have made it a much more difficult decision and a more complicated trading time frame or that any previous There have been ones,” Elias said. “But ultimately, I have to link my decisions to this year’s outlook and prospects. We have a shot at the wild card now. But it is unlikely that we are going to win the wild card.

“We have all different ways of looking at it, and the steps we take can solidify our chances for next season and the season ahead and beyond that is something we need to do despite the tremendous progress of our players.” Have to keep thinking. This year.”

Effectively, Elias questions the fruitfulness of making sacrifices toward a 2022 playoff push, when front office counts are not a possibility. It is unclear what the organization’s internal modeling suggests about the Orioles’ playoff odds, although the public offers varying degrees of hope. Gives better than 1-in-5 odds of a playoff berth. Baseball probabilities in the PECOTA trajectory system have them around 13%. Fangraphs give the Orioles a 2.7% chance of arriving after the season.

But consider that those odds have improved infinitely from the 0% chance Baltimore found three months ago. With consecutive winning months starting June 1 and a 31–21 record, the Orioles found themselves out of the dungeons of the American League East and into full-blown contention.

They have already exceeded what was expected of them; Monday’s win was their 52nd win of the year, matching their total from the previous season. Away from Mancini, a player beloved by the fan base and a fixture in the middle of manager Brandon Hyde’s lineup, Elias is effectively challenging the Orioles to overcome another set of obstacles.

Elias said, “One of the reasons why our division is so difficult is because the teams in our division have done such a great job balancing present, future, near-term, long-term considerations with their moves over the past decade. ” “It’s important for us to do the same thing. When a player is a free agent in nine weeks, you have to consider opportunities to bring in high-upside talent who have the potential to contribute for many years down the road.”

Asked how he justifies trading a favorite player for a fan base that has lost many during the rebuild, as if a corner is being turned, Elias said “towards very difficult decisions”. Pointing out those who have enabled us to make progress.” But none has been as difficult as moving Mancini, a trade Elias said was “bittersweet” and “very emotional for me” because he repeatedly suggested that the Orioles might pursue Mancini If he reaches free agency this winter. Mancini, contracted with Baltimore during spring training, included a $10 million mutual option for 2023, of which the team’s share – and the accompanying buyout – is now in the hands of the Astros.

In return, the Orioles found a pair of young pitchers in Seth Johnson and Chayas McDermott, who immediately continued to stock the MLB pipeline as one of the organization’s top dozen prospects.elite talent pipelineElias had promised when he was hired. But instead of playing up the odds that either Johnson or McDermott become a contributor to future teams in Baltimore, Elias sought to improve the 2022 team’s chance of a playoff berth, retaining Mancini and adding through other trades. Might have tried. Of course, he still can do it before the Tuesday evening deadline of 6 p.m. EST.

“I am very proud and happy about what our players and coaches have done this year,” Elias said. “I look forward to seeing what they continue to do. But ultimately it’s my job to maintain the health of the organization. There are tradeoffs. Everything we do has pros and cons. And I believe it. That after building this business, the overall organization becomes stronger.”

And his playoff chances continued to dwindle. Now, it is up to the players and coaches who once again overcome the odds.

Orioles @ Rangers

Tuesday, 8:05 pm


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