You are severly discounting a lot of players from that era.
Jones, Markakis, Machado, Wieters, JJ Hardy, Davis, Britton, Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez were all core players to that special 5 year run.
Chris Davis hit 197 in the 5 seasons from 2012-2016
JJ Hardy won three gold golves during that time.
Zack Britton was a shut down reliever for 3 of those 5 years
Chris Tillman was in our rotation for all 5 of those years and was our defacto "Ace" during that time timeout question
Miguel Gonzalez was in our rotation for 4 of those years and very good for three of them
Markakis was only there 2012-2014 but is absolutely a core oriole
Manny Machado was a three time all star and 2 gold gloves during that time all while being one of the youngest and brightest up and coming stars in the game
If we're keeping Mountcastle, he had better improve his production at the plate. We would need a lot more slugging out of he and Stowers, both. I am hoping Rutschman hits with more power, too - especially from the right side of the plate.
The league adjusted to Henderson pretty well and his last few weeks reallytalked off from that hot start. He needs to make his adjustments, now. He'll be okay.
Listening to your comments I made a few changes. Now calling the list Core/Keepers. Added Mullins and Tyler Wells to the list.
I hear the comments on Mountcastle but this at his age (25) with his development defensively. At this point he just had a bad offensive year and is likely to improve.
Yeah, that's it. Not sure Gray Rod is even part of the core yet because he hasn't even pitched in the majors. I'm not suggesting that Elias is looking to trade him unless he is part of a trade for another core player.
What was the core for the 2012-2016 Orioles. I'm going to say it was Wieters and Jones. I guess you could add Markakis. The rest of the players came and went or just had a great season or 2 (Davis). I think that was part of the problem with the 2012-2016 O's, was the core wasn't big enough and there wasn't any elite players in the core. Did anyone regularly include Wieters, Jones and Markakis in the best players in baseball conversation.
I can't consider a player at a prime offensive position putting up a .724 OPS a core player. I would be surprised if Elias doesn't have several players in the minors who he considers possible replacements for Mountcastle.