Orioles Trade Proposal Swaps No. 3 Prospect for AL Strikeout Leader

Garrett Crochet

Getty Garrett Crochet pitching the ball against the Baltimore Orioles on May 26.

From the starters to the bullpen, pitching has been a roller coaster for the Baltimore Orioles. They’re expected to target help at the MLB’s trade deadline.

One option that could present itself is Chicago White Sox starter Garrett Crochet. Zachary D. Rymer listed Baltimore as a top land spot in a June 12 column for Bleacher Report.

He put together a trade proposal between the two teams, a player-for-player swap including Double-A catcher Samuel Basallo.

Orioles receive: Crochet

White Sox receive: Basallo

Basallo is the team’s number three prospect, and ranked 13th in all of MLB. He’s batting .291/.339/.476 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.

Rymer thinks that in order for Baltimore to lap the New York Yankees in the AL East standings, they’ll need to add another top starter.

“With their offense already stacked, it’s pitching they need to close the gap between them and the Yankees,” Rymer wrote. “And with Burnes set for free agency this winter, the Orioles could look at Crochet as a sort of preemptive replacement.”

Crochet is Chicago’s number two starter in the rotation. He’s pitched 103 strikeouts in 75.2 innings, the most in the AL.

White Sox Prepping for ‘Fire Sale’

Chicago is preparing a fire sale of their 17-50 roster, according to numerous reports.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic wrote as much in a June 11 column.

“The White Sox have no untouchables on their major-league roster,” Bowden wrote. “They’re going to have a fire sale and aim to add as many good prospects as they can and make as many trades as possible.”

Enter the Orioles, who are 44-22 and 2.5 games back of the Yankees.

Baltimore is seeking upgrades, but Bowden writes that they won’t put their top-four or five prospects in the middle of any deal.

“The Orioles are focused on improving their bullpen,” Bowden wrote. “But plan on doing it without giving up any of their top four or five prospects.”

That would rule out Basallo, but not necessarily the Orioles. It can’t go unmentioned that he plays the same position as franchise cornerstone Adley Rutschman.

“The sheer prospect depth the Orioles have is the other reason they’re worth considering for Crochet,” Rymer added. “And this one-for-one deal would see them give up a guy who’s blocked by Adley Rutschman anyway.”

Although there’s reason to doubt they’d target a starting pitcher.

Does Baltimore Need Another Starter?

Even with the losses of John Means and Tyler Wells, Baltimore’s pitching staff has been among the best in MLB.

They rank 3rd in ERA with a 3.10 collectively, 2nd in home runs allowed with 55, and 9th in quality starts with 28.

Corbin Burnes leads the way for the Orioles, with Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez behind him in the pecking order.

Albert Suarez and Cole Irvin have filled in admirably, and Baltimore has shown a willingness to explore their options, calling up prospects like Cade Povich.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic echoes reports that Baltimore is addressing the pitcher market ahead of the deadline.

“The Orioles are intently exploring the bullpen market and still could pursue a right-handed hitting outfielder,” Rosenthal wrote. “In addition, general manager Mike Elias is telling clubs he will weigh the addition of a starting pitcher perhaps up to the deadline, according to sources briefed on his discussions.”

He also says that general manager Mike Elias would move on a starter, but for only one of two reasons. “Elias likely would move on a starter only if he needed one for health and/or performance reasons,” Rosenthal added.

Performance isn’t the issue for the Orioles.

But health is. Whether it’s enough of an issue for Elias to pull the trigger on a midseason deal for a starter like Crochet can only be answered between now and July 30.

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