Source: Chances of Orioles acquiring Melvin Upton Jr. from Padres as high as 45 percent

Source: Orioles have about 45-percent chance of landing Melvin Upton.

It might seem counterintuitive that the Orioles are interested in acquiring San Diego Padres outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., but it really isn’t.

The Orioles suddenly have some big holes in their outfield depth and just as suddenly are getting results from four starting pitchers, so it appears that their priorities have been altered by necessity.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to complete a deal for Upton – in particular one that reportedly would send struggling pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to San Diego – but a high-ranking club source characterized the chances of a deal getting done as high as 45 percent.

Though that is a significant probability, it still has to be interpreted as a marginally unlikely scenario. Deals involving the exchange of bulky contracts are complicated, and it is believed that the Orioles would have to send cash and a decent prospect along with Jimenez to acquire Upton.

Standing alone, an Upton-Jimenez exchange would not give the Padres enough payroll relief to justify the deal. Upton is still owed about $22 million through the 2017 season. Jimenez is owed about $18 million. It seems unlikely this deal gets done without more money heading west.

If the Orioles do what it takes to get a trade done, it will be because they are headed down the stretch with Joey Rickard on the disabled list indefinitely, Hyun Soo Kim on the mend with a hamstring injury, Nolan Reimold struggling at the plate and the club without a solid outfielder to play center field in the event Adam Jones is lost for any significant period.

Dan Duquette still is saying he’s focused on upgrading the pitching staff with the Aug. 1 nonwaiver trade deadline looming, but the Orioles also need more help in the outfield at the moment.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

twitter.com/SchmuckStop

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