Orioles GM Mike Elias addressed the media today regarding an unfortunate development for the team’s pitching staff. The conversation also drifted into the upcoming trade deadline — Elias’s first at the helm of the Baltimore baseball operations department.
In particular, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com covers, the rookie GM discussed the potentially tricky issue of how to handle young outfielder Trey Mancini. The 27-year-old has been the club’s most productive player this year, as Elias readily volunteered. Mancini is controllable through 2022 and will reach arbitration for the first time this fall.
Elias looked to walk a line in his comments, inviting offers while also making clear that he’s not going to just take whatever he can get for the team’s best trade chip. “We’re not looking to part with Trey,” said Elias. “That said, as I’ve said all along, we’re open to anything.”
Elias called Mancini “an integral part of this team.” He also left rather a wide door in discussing what it would take to make a deal. Rather than suggesting that the club would need to be overwhelmed or specifying the type of return he’d want, Elias said a trade would at least be possible if his front office “feel[s] that what we’re getting back is better for the organization than what we’re giving up.”
The rebuilding O’s are focused on the future, giving them ample reason to consider deals while Mancini is in good form. (After all, he wasn’t in 2018.) But it’s not the only option by any stretch. There is still some time left to enjoy Mancini. It never hurts to have at least one popular, homegrown star to please the fans that show up and help bridge to a new period of competitiveness.
If that’s the path that Elias takes, then it certainly would make sense for the club to check in on the possibility of an extension. It doesn’t sound as if talks have occurred to this point, but Elias said that it’s “certainly a thought that’s crossed my mind.” Labeling Mancini a player the team would like to keep “around for the long haul,” the new chief baseball decisionmaker certainly opened the door to that possibility without setting any expectations. Mid-season deals for younger players are rather rare, but some chatter over the winter or next spring would hardly be surprising — if Mancini remains in Baltimore.