For every year of the Elias Era, I've written up a yearly Trade Bait thread in the offseason. This year is unique that I think we could be buyers, but overall, I believe Elias is going to try to mimic the Rays and Indians a bit in where they are always trying to be competitive while balancing the payroll. I think Elias will continue to trade MLB pieces if he believes they have reached a peak value in terms of talent/salary, especially if he has his pipeline providing MLB ready talent to immediately replace a player. Just because a player is on here, doesn't mean I believe he will or should be traded. I'm just trying to think in terms of Elias. I went with Hot/Mild/Low in terms of likelihood of being traded
Anthony Santander - He's 28, hit a career high in HR last season, and he's probably at peak value. With two years left of control and arbitration pushing the salary up, Elias might be looking to deal. Santander's potential production and salary numbers will still be more affordable and as productive than many of the Free Agent OFs. If he stays with the O's, I believe his value is best as a DH as the O's were below league avg in corner OF value overall. Santander is one of the more likely 40 man pieces to be traded before the season starts in my opinion
Cedric Mullins - The CF Market could be active, but the options in Free Agency aren't awfully deep. Mullins didn't nearly match his 2021 output last year, but a 3.8 WAR is still very good. His defensive metrics were still good, as were his SB numbers. The problem is, I feel our overall OF depth is not that great and that Mullins still has a lot of value to the O's even if his salary takes a jump this year. However, Elias may be forced to consider the option of trading Mullins if it can bring back pieces that he places more value on in the long run. I think Elias also knows how valuable Mullins is to the foundation of the current starting 9, especially without an immediate replacement.
Ramon Urias - 3.6 WAR this year is pretty solid. He's versatile, and I believe he's got 20 HR pop. I struggle with deciding if he's at peak value though. If its not now, it would probably be at the trade deadline this year. However, he's turning 29 this season and there's not a lot of room for error with judging his peak value at this point. The GG helps give him an extra boost in value heading into the offseason. I think he's traded to clear up the infield log jam that could be coming. If he stays, he will probably move to 2B where the O's were 2nd to last in the league in position value. If he can maintain his dWAR and improve upon his offensive production, he could have even more value heading into the trade deadline.
Jorge Mateo - 3.4 WAR is pretty solid considering the lack of offensive production. I feel like Elias isn't pushing this as Mateo does have value as the starting SS, or he could be the replacement we need at 2B if we bring in a better SS like Correa or move Gunnar to SS. Elias probably only considers this trade if he is approached by another team that wants him as a low cost, controllable option. I feel the return could actually be solid; but I wonder if Elias is gambling a bit since he has so many solid MIF prospects on the cusp but not quite ready. He will begin the season at only age 27, so if Mateo can put up GG defensive numbers again, get his OPS up over .700, and continue to be among the league leaders in SBs, his value could sky rocket leading to a deadline trade, or event one in next year's offseason.
Dillon Tate - Depending on how Elias adds to the Rotation, I could see Voth, Hall, and Wells all being additions to an already solid Bullpen. I think Tate is also approaching that peak value point as he will be 29 on May 1st, is coming off his best year, and he's entering into arbitration. He could be a very low cost add for a team needing a RH bullpen piece, especially if Elias thinks he can get something he likes in return or add Tate as part of a bigger trade. He could be an offseason trade or even a trade deadline deal.
Austin Hays - I don't think Elias likes trading a player when he believes there is more peak value potential. If you look at Austin Hays' 2nd Half in 2021 and his 1st Half in 2022, he's an above average corner OF with 25 HRs and close to a .790 OPS. I feel Hays was injured in much of the 2nd half last season. Currently, I don't see a lot of value or other teams being interested unless they felt they could buy low. However, he's an OF which we need as the moment, but if he can get hot in the 1st Half, could be a trade candidate leading up to the trade deadline if Cowser is ready.
Ryan Mountcastle - As far as WAR, he's averaged about 1.0 WAR per season in his 3 years. As much as it seemed that Ryan had a down year, he was actually more valuable in terms of WAR this season than in 2021 when he hit 33 HRs. He's still affordable, but with a career high 1.3 WAR, Jose Abreu and his 4.2 WAR shows how big a jump we could take offensively with a top tier 1B; even a mid tier 1B like Josh Bell was 3.0 WAR last year. However, the depth in FA 1B dive bombs after that. I don't see Elias trading below peak, but perhaps Elias thinks this is Mountcastle's peak and he adds him to part of a bigger trade before the season starts. If he does begin the season at 1B, much like Hays, he could be moved if he can put together a decent 1st half, much like Mancini did.
Austin Voth - Also entering arbitration and turns 31 this season. I think we need him now for SP depth, and he could become a good BP piece if Elias acquires more SP. Voth could end up not only being pushed out of the rotation, but also expendable based on Bullpen depth. He might be a good target for a team looking for affordable back of the rotation options or a bullpen piece.
Connor Norby, Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg, Sam Basallo, Coby Mayo, Cesar Prieto, Darrell Hernaiz, Frederick Bencosme
This is the 1st year of looking into potential trades where I feel our prospects are on the table for acquiring MLB ready talent. I don't see Elias trading Pitching or OF prospects as we need to build our depth there. However, Hall, Cowser, Kjerstad, and others could be possibilities.
Take Roughned Odor’s 472 PA at .275 OBP and give them to Gunnar Henderson (.348).
Take Tyler Nevin’s 184 PA at .299 OBP and give them to Terrin Vavra (.340).
Take 90 of Robinson Chirinos’ 220 PA at .265 OBP and give them to Adley Rutschman (.362). Assume a new backup C will be just as inept as Chirinos, but won’t be starting for the first 1/4 of the season like Chirinos was.
Those three relatively simple moves add about 8 points to the team OBP, moving them from slightly below average to slightly above average. Anything we do from there is gravy. Of course, you do have to replace Trey Mancini’s 401 PA at .347 OBP.
Frobby! The excitement comes from the athleticism and the incredible plays they are able to pull off. I find it somewhat similar to baseball in that respect. The same beauty and athletic art it takes from Brooks, Manny, Omar, Ozzie to make all those incredible defensive plays is on full display throughout a soccer match. That plus the level of fitness it takes to compete and how the fitness levels expose themselves in the last 15 minutes of each game is thrilling (to me at least :). It took me a while to get into it as well, but once you get the bug there is no going back. It truly is a beautiful game to watch unfold.
The Iran game is massive. One of biggest games ever for our Country. It is going to be extremely exciting. Iran is a very good team so we cannot take them lightly. With that said, I like our chances. I think the boys will have a little swagger in their step after the draw against England.
The point of the last half decade of tanking was to build a potent, sustainable talent pipeline, and the early results look pretty good, at least on the position player side of things. Blocking all of that young talent with expensive, mid-tier free agents is antithetical to what Elias is building here.
I’m not disagreeing on Abreu, I just think Elias is in on his guy. Also, if Elias is truly all In on competing he won’t rely on 2-3 of these prospects right now beyond Adley and Gunnar to be immediate impact guys.