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.
I'll just leave you with this:
Roberts 43 passed balls in 1558.1 inning caught (1 every 36 innings) vs Handley 14 PB in 1247 innings caught (1 every 89 innings).
Roberts is a good depth guy similar to Austin Wynns who could back up for a bit, but Handley is the superior defensive catcher. Offensively, Handley, strikeout less, walks more, has more power and overall is two years younger.
They are not the same.
Handley to me is a legitimate backup catcher at the major league level for a long time while Roberts could be more of a breakglass in case of emergency AAA depth piece that could fill in for a bit without killing a team but does nothing good enough to stick long term.