The future is now for the Baltimore Orioles.
With the team in striking distance for a wild-card spot, the Orioles need to be buyers at the trade deadline. Not just to add a minor piece or two, but to make a big splash by acquiring a top player on the market.
The only prospect in the Orioles' farm system who should not be traded at any cost is top prospect Dylan Bundy. Any other prospect (Manny Machado, L.J. Hoes, Jonathan Schoop) the Orioles should be willing to move for the right price, as well as starting pitchers Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz.
Ideally, Baltimore should add a corner infielder and a starting pitcher at the deadline to keep them in the race down the stretch.
Padres third baseman Chase Headley, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, and Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez are all corner infielders on the market, and would all be an upgrade over Mark Reynolds.
Headley is the best option out of the three, as he has put up decent numbers in Petco Park, a pitchers ballpark, and also has two seasons left on his contract after this year.
The starting pitching talent available on the market is vaster than the market for corner infielders, and the Orioles need an ace now with Jason Hammel out until September.
Cubs pitchers Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, Rays pitchers James Shields, Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson, Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas, and Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano are all on the market and have shown in the past that they can be quality starters who can make an impact.
Any of these guys would become the best pitcher in the Orioles' rotation.
It would most likely take a big package to acquire pitchers like Dempster and Johnson, but the Orioles need to do it, and should have just enough highly ranked prospects to get a deal like that done. They would also be worth it.
By being buyers at the deadline, and by making a big-time acquisition, the Orioles will show that they are trying to win games, and trying to win them now.
Reach staff writer Jake Rill at 410-857-7896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.