Orioles' top trade chips
Here's Dan Connolly's look at the Orioles' list of realistic trade chips, in order of most likely to be dealt at some point in the next five weeks. For a text version of Connolly's analysis, click here.
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Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara
Stats: 1-1, 1.80 ERA, 41 games, 45 innings, 23 hits, 8 walks, 59 strikeouts
Contract status: $3 million in 2011; $4 million option in 2012 that vests at 55 appearances
Current market value: High
Potential fits: Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds.
Skinny: Uehara, along with Johnson, has been the rock of the Orioles' bullpen and dealing him would make the late innings even more adventurous in Baltimore, but his value will never be higher. One scout said Uehara's 2012 option for $4 million makes him especially attractive because he can be shopped as more than just a rental. Texas would be the most logical fit since Buck Showalter and company know the Rangers' system and the Rangers are a shut-down bullpen away from another long postseason run. But it's hard to forget the Great Koji Meltdown in the Arlington heat last May, in which he was soaked with sweat and looked as if he were pitching under water. He missed more than a month after that with a forearm strain. But he has been healthy this season and his numbers can't be ignored, nor can what one talent evaluator called his 'magic fastball,' an 89-mph challenger that has befuddled hitters since last July.
Chances he's dealt: 80 percent