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Orioles acquire former No. 1 pick Tim Beckham from Rays before trade deadline

Tim Beckham of the Tampa Bay Rays fields a hit by Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees in the first inning on July 27, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.
Tim Beckham of the Tampa Bay Rays fields a hit by Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees in the first inning on July 27, 2017 at Yankee Stadium. (Elsa / Getty Images)

The nonwaiver trade deadline came and passed without the Orioles making an impact move, but the team did acquire a middle infielder from a division rival.

Orioles closer Zach Britton stayed put, as did right-handed reliever Brad Brach, but the Orioles acquired a major league piece that is controllable for the next three seasons beyond this year.

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In the 11th hour before Monday's deadline, the Orioles acquired former No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a minor league right-hander Tobias Myers.

Four major questions the Orioles have to answer ahead of Monday's 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline, including what to do with Zach Britton, their bats, and their rotation.

The move, which was announced by the team less than an hour after the 4 p.m. deadline, is another indication that the Orioles are attempting to make a run at the postseason this year despite being four games under .500 going into Monday's series opener against the Kansas City Royals. The entered the day 5½ games back of the second American League wild-card spot.

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Beckham, 27, was the top pick in the 2008 draft, and through parts of four major league seasons is still attempting to reach the promise placed upon him as a Georgia high school senior.

Still, Beckham has become a legitimate major league piece, playing mostly shortstop and second base.

The Orioles acquired shortstop Rubén Tejada from the New York Yankees earlier this season to fill in for injured starter J.J. Hardy, who is out with a broken bone in his wrist. The Orioles are unlikely to pick up Hardy's option for next season, so they could be looking for a starting shortstop for 2018.

Beckham is under team control through the 2020 season. In that sense, it's far too early to call him a reclamation project, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has long been drawn to former first-rounders.

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A free-swinger who reached the best power numbers of his career this season, Beckham hit .259/.314/.407 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 87 games for the Rays. But he also had 110 strikeouts in 345 plate appearances with just 24 walks. He is a career .247/.299/.421 hitter in 238 career major league games.

The Orioles witnessed history while staring down their future in Sunday's 10-6 win in Texas.

Myers, who turns 19 on Aug. 5, was the Orioles' 2016 sixth-round pick out of Winter Haven (Fla.) High School, the same school of Orioles rookie Trey Mancini. He owns a 3.94 ERA in 29 2/3 innings pitching for Short-A Aberdeen this season. He holds velocity well on his 93-96 mph fastball, and also is developing a changeup and curveball.

The trade was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli contributed to this article.

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