With Manny Machado's post All-Star Game trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, the Orioles officially signaled that not only are they open for business, but the rest of baseball’s trade market can begin, too.
After all, Machado isn't the only attractive trade piece the Orioles have on their roster. Here are five more players likely to come up in trade conversations in the coming month as the Orioles look toward the future and begin to shed players before free agency hits.
Barely a month back from offseason Achilles tendon surgery that delayed his debut to mid-June, Britton has returned to the near-unhittable form that made him one of the game's best relievers in 2016. He's allowed three walks and three hits over his past seven outings — all scoreless appearances — and found consistency with his sinker while getting his velocity back. He has remade himself into an attractive trade piece this month.
The Orioles had expected Brach to be just as coveted as Britton this year, but his stint as their early-season deputy closer didn't go as expected. He has shown flashes of his All-Star form from 2016 and the reliability that has made him one of the game's best setup men since 2015, but he struggled to sustain it over the year’s first half (4.46 ERA, 1.734 WHIP). There will be a market for a team that believes Brach can string together two solid months ahead of free agency, but he first needs to pitch better.
Because his future with the Orioles is such an important aspect of their offseason decisions, Jones is one of the more complicated parts of their pending free-agent class. As the standard-bearer for the franchise in the clubhouse and in the community, Jones has an influence on the Orioles that goes beyond the field. If he waives his vested no-trade rights, Jones could join a contender that needs corner-outfield help and wants his consistent bat in the lineup.
A veteran right-handed hitter who crushes left-handed pitching and has shown he's not just a platoon player anymore, Valencia could easily help a contender as a situational hitter. In a trade for a similar player, the Toronto Blue Jays dealt former Oriole Steve Pearce to the Boston Red Sox last month. Valencia is cheaper and can fill a similar role on a team that needs a supplemental piece.
Depending on how long the Orioles expect their rebuild to take, Schoop, a free agent after the 2019 season, could be next to experience what his buddy Machado dealt with. Schoop's value is for now hindered by his slow start, but his improvements this month (.368 batting average, four RBIs in 15 games) could be crucial to building up his value entering the offseason. It would be a sign of good faith to Orioles fans if Schoop’s deal were extended, but absent such a bridge to the future, his value will only decrease if they wait until next summer, as they did with Machado.