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Orioles manager Buck Showalter would 'trade for Joe All-Star' but at what price?

ANAHEIM, Calif. — With the Orioles currently atop the American League East, it might be tempting for the team to orchestrate a deal as the July 31 nonwaiver deadline approaches.

But manager Buck Showalter said the club must tread carefully through the trade waters.

“There’s two thoughts about it,” Showalter said before the Orioles’ series opener against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. “There’s also how did we get there? You want to take those people away in order to keep doing it? Oh yeah, I’d trade for Joe All-Star, but you’re gonna take away [an existing piece], and it [will] not be here next year or the year beyond. I think we’ve got a good grip of who we are and who we’re not.”

The Orioles entered Monday leading by three games over the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees in the division, but the other teams giving chase likely will be looking to upgrade as well. Unlike past years, the Orioles are looking to maintain their hold on the division lead instead of cutting the gap.

Showalter said he regularly is in contact with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, but said only one specific name has been mentioned to him as a possible acquisition.

“It just depends on the day,” Showalter said. “Today we talked about something, not a player. I think he’d brought up one player’s name to me, but I think Dan’s in tune and wired to everything that might be out there and, more importantly, the cost to get it. What’s the price, not only financially, but I think more importantly, the way we look at it, what it takes away from us — here or below [in the minor leagues].”

The Orioles have been active near the trade deadline in recent years. Last season, they acquired right-hander Bud Norris before the deadline and also made deals for reliever Francisco Rodriguez and starter Scott Feldman without losing major prospects.

And with potential trade partners still asking for top prospects that the Orioles aren’t willing to deal at this point, that’s something that Showalter said will change as the deadline draws closer.

“There’s a little bit of poker being played,” Showalter said. “I don’t dwell on it too much because I like our people, and I don’t like the idea … of giving up somebody who fits where we are and where we’re going.”

eencina@baltsun.com

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