As free agents are coming off the board, former Oriole Trey Mancini is one of the few players left on the open market that’s a viable everyday contributor. However, it doesn’t seem like a return to Baltimore is in the cards, according to report from Dan Connolly of The Athletic. He says that the club made some initial contact with him but that little progress was made.
Mancini has been with the Orioles for much of his career thus far, having been drafted by them in 2013 and sticking with the club until a deadline trade to the Astros in 2022. He debuted in 2016 but cemented himself as an everyday player at a time when the club’s fans had little to get excited about. From 2017 to 2021, the Orioles finished last in the American League East in all four full seasons and finished fourth in the shortened 2020 campaign. But in the first three of those years, Mancini hit at least 24 home runs and hit a combined .275/.334/.480 for a wRC+ of 114, indicating he was 14% better than league average over that stretch.
A battle with colon cancer wiped out his 2020 season, but Mancini provided a feel-good story in 2021, returning to play 147 games and hit another 21 home runs. He finished that season with a batting line of .255/.326/.432, 105 wRC+. He got out to a strong start in 2022, hitting .268/.347/.404 for a wRC+ of 116. He was then flipped to the Astros at the deadline and wilted down the stretch. He hit just .176/.258/.364 as an Astro in the regular season, and followed that up with a dreary .048/.125/.048 line over 24 postseason plate appearances. That wasn’t the best way for Mancini to enter free agency for the first time, but his larger track record is still solid. He has a career wRC+ of 111 and the ability to play above-average first base defense, in addition to the occasional trip to an outfield corner.
Though many fans in Baltimore would surely be excited by Mancini’s return, there are reasons for the club to not have too much interest. They already have a right-handed hitting first baseman in Ryan Mountcastle, who still is under club control for another four years. The roster is also crowded elsewhere, which likely means the club wants to keep the designated hitter slot open to be used based on how other situations play out. Mountcastle, Jorge Mateo, Gunnar Henderson, Ramón Urías and Adam Frazier are lined up to handle the infield positions in some combination, with Lewin Díaz and Terrin Vavra candidates for bench jobs. They also have infield prospects on the way in the form of Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg, Coby Mayo and Connor Norby. In the outfield, they have Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Anthony Santander and Kyle Stowers, with prospect Colton Cowser likely to debut at some point in 2023. Given all of those young options, it would be a bit tough to slot Mancini into the picture without blocking some of their up-and-coming players.
If he’s not back to Baltimore, then Mancini will have to look for his next opportunity elsewhere. He was connected to the Cubs about two weeks ago, with Jon Heyman of The New York Post reiterating that connection earlier today. For the Cubs or any other club looking for first base upgrades, José Abreu, Josh Bell and Anthony Rizzo are off the board, but Mancini, Yuli Gurriel, Brandon Belt, Luke Voit and others are still available.
i bet a lot of orioles fans got faked out by the headline
What was the point of this article
Right? “Dan Connolly states the obvious thing we knew the moment Trey was traded last season.”
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Giants likely to sign Correa? Huh…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Is this AA’s big move? Like to see him in left, Love to see the the village idiot gone…
MLBTR can increase content by 2900% if they report on what teams players aren’t signing with.
Him and mountcastle are the most similar to eachother than any other teammates in the league. He’d simply be brought back because he’s the fan favorite. It’s tough to let him go, but I do understand it. Wish him the best
C Yards Jeff
Local media this off season has been reporting O’s FO is looking for LH hitters this off season not RH. Thanks for the memories Trey;
The Orioles seem like they could benefit from signing Juricksson Profar. Switch-hitter, had a decent defensive season in the OF, and is versatile.
I think I’d prefer more of a power bat honestly. Kinda was thinking Gallo, but feel like its a go to for Orioles fans to think any power righty will hit 50 bombs with that rf porch
Turns out James Click was the only fool on Earth who thought Trey could still play at the highest level. Now they’re both looking for jobs.
Mancini was 13% above league average offensively at the time he was dealt.
He was 13% above with the Orioles moving their LF wall way back. That robbed Mancini of a few HRS for sure. I can recall a few just from watching.
Someone will give him a big league job, book it.
I don’t think anyone was expecting him to go back to Baltimore anyway. Still plenty of teams he fits with to varying degrees; the Cubs, Rays, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Twins, Rangers, Brewers, Mariners could all use a 1B/DH type that can also play some OF if needed
Im not sure he is within rays budget but they need a lefty hitter at 1b/OF platoon
Well, Mancini is a RH hitter
Ol’ Uncle Charlie
Seems like a good fit for the Cards. Need pop, DH and someone to slot in an OF spot which seems likely to open up.
Sorry meant to say not in budget AND he is not a lefty
Well, at least the O’s got Kyle Gibson.
Go home & play for the Rays, Trey!
DeGrom Texas Ranger
The Rangers would love him (or anyone with a pulse who can play left field). I would try experimenting with deGrom in left field on days he doesn’t pitch and force him to play through any possible injury simply because of desperation. DeGrom’s 109 OPS+ in 2021 is superior to whatever trash the Rangers managed last season.
Surely this is a joke
DeGrom Texas Ranger
Yes, but the Rangers really need a left fielder. Make Jung play there if needed. It’s awful (offensively, at least).
I can’t see the Cubs signing him because he’s going to want multiple years and Hoyer probably envisions Matt Mervis manning 1B for many years. Sure, they have the DH but part of what a team is paying for is his defense at first base. So the Cubs are out. Next team up…
I’m thinking it will be the Cubs… To platoon with Mervis at first, play DH, and get some starts in the outfield corner positions. He should get 500+ at bats and fills most of the Cubs remaining needs.
Multiple years may not be in his best interest after his performance late last year. He might be better served re-establishing his value.
Mervis only played 4 games at AAA last season. The Cubs are typically pretty conservative with big time prospects. If he gets multiple years, it won’t be at a high AAV, so he could probably be moved when Mervis is ready for an everyday role at Wrigley.
Someone tell Jed Hoyer that rememberthecoop has decided the Cubs are out. He can wipe it off the whiteboard. (sarcasm)
Dodgers should offer him a 2 year with a opt out after 1st . They need the bat.
Mancini to TB. They need a bay and he should come at an affordable cost. TB could probably utilize his versatility playing him in corner OF, 1B & of course DH.
The Red Sox should consider signing Mancini
Wilmer the Thrillmer
So cool that Mancini got a World Series ring last year, but the downside is he posted a -0.5 WAR with the ‘Stros in 51 games last year after posting a +1.9 WAR with the O’s before he got traded, which was his high water mark after his epic 2019 season. He made nearly 8mil last year and based on his play in Houston he’s probably only worth around 5mil. Therein lie the rub. How do you go from 8mil to 5mil when you’re pretty dang good. He’s a plus hitter and a minus fielder, but Brantley did well so ultimately I predict a 2/14 contract and probably 20 teams would be improved with him on the roster.
It’s an interesting question for Hoyer and Hawkins. How do we fill out the roster. The Cubs are basically RH as far as hitters go. Conforto is the best LH bat left. The LH reserves they have basically couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. Conforto really doesn’t play a position the Cubs need except DH and I doubt Conforto would want to be just a DH as it wouldn’t really help his value. Mancini would be a great option if they could get him on a 1 year deal which he probably doesn’t want. Mervis will play 1B when they bring him up as I don’t see them starting him until he gets that extra ARB year. So then Mancini slides to DH but he’s RH also. Actually Profar might be an option as a 4th OF/DH and he can be a better option than Conforto in the field. I think I get why they’re waiting as when other options fall off the board one of them might fall in their lap. Then sign a C, and a LH reliever if they don’t believe they have an in house option which they might. Still a little work to do.
John Rocker Fan Club
Mancini makes more sense on the Brewers or the Marlins.
Giants now? Or maybe the Mets.