Baltimore Orioles almost sent Manny Machado to Cleveland

Manny Machado was almost traded to Cleveland last month by the Baltimore Orioles. This according to John Morosi of mlb.com. Apparently one of the names that was thrown around to be sent back to the Orioles in return was RHP Danny Salazar.

If you read the article I linked above, Morosi doesn’t go into too much detail about the deal itself. So it’s unclear if this potential trade (which incidentally could still happen) was Machado-for-Salazar straight up, or if there were other pieces involved. But I would caution the Orioles on this one…

…granted Cleveland has a surplus of starters, and they would have been offering the Birds what they wanted: a big leauge-ready pitcher. (Not even a big league-ready pitcher, but a straight up big league pitcher.) However Salazar has many of the markings of some of the other names that have come through the Orioles’ rotation over the years. There’s a reason that Cleveland’s trying to unload him: he’s inconsistent.

Last year he was only 5-6 on the year, with a career-high 4.28 ERA. Playing roughly half of his games at Camden Yards, that might become a bit of a problem. Now in fairness, inconsistent also means that he has his good points. There are times when he’s really on – but also times when he’s really off.

If I’m the Orioles, I’d say been there, done that. Again, we don’t know what else would have been part of that deal. If in fact it was a one-for-one swap, I’d say the Orioles would be getting fleeced. Salazar has the markings of another Ubaldo Jimenez. Now with that said, he could also end up as a classic “change of air” type of guy, get to the Orioles, and be what Jake Arrieta was to the Chicago Cubs.

But are the O’s willing to run that risk? My personal opinion is that I hope they are not – for their sake. If they’re going to trade Machado, a Salazar-like guy could well be a part of that trade. But what they want to do is get some top-notch pitching prospects in return. Either prospects who are ready to make the jump to the big leagues now, or perhaps who have had a cup of coffee there already – perhaps in a September call-up or something like that.

The last thing they want is a guy who’s been inconsistent for five years somewhere else, and who could be a reclamation project at best. Again, perhaps he would end up an Arrieta-type. But…can the Orioles afford to run that risk?

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