I'm not going to argue the point. The Orioles need a lot of help if they are to cap off their improbably good season with a postseason berth. Problem is, that extra wildcard spot makes practically every team believe it's a playoff contender. So, with only a handful of sellers as the July 31 trading deadline approaches, the price is steep for true difference-makers.
The Orioles can't afford to pay that price. Their minor league system may be making strides, but when numerous injuries befell the Orioles, they were unable to replenish. So they've used infielders to fill outfield spots, designated hitters to fill corner infield spots, and career minor leaguer Miguel Gonzalez was inserted into the rotation out of desperation.
The team's future rests with the core of positional players already in Baltimore, the hope that one or two young starting pitchers turns into a front-of-the-rotation starter, and in the expected progress of seemingly can't-miss prospects Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy along with the next tier of prospects that includes Jonathan Schoop, Parker Bridwell, L.J. Hoes and Nick Delmonico.
Sure, the rotation could really use Matt Garza or Zack Greinke or Ryan Dempster or Josh Johnson, but chances are they can't get them without dealing Machado or Bundy.
They can't even consider trading those two and probably shouldn't part with any organizational top-10 prospect. A positional player like Hunter Pence or Chase Headley wouldn't cost as much, but caution is needed.
Remember, acquiring a player guarantees nothing. Just ask the San Francisco Giants what adding Carlos Beltran did for them last year.
It's been a fun year for fans and manager Buck Showalter has a team that should probably be 10 games under .500 in contention at the 100-game mark. If they can add a few helpful pieces for pennies on the dollar, they should do so with the goal of finishing with a winning record. But, with so many teams in the hunt, they probably aren't going to the playoffs and they shouldn't sacrifice their future in a vain attempt.