The Baltimore Orioles won’t be taking an ice pick to their 25-man roster this year at the trade deadline. That happened last year. However people are starting to talk about what moves (if any) the Orioles might potentially make. According to some people, nobody should be off limits – even the likes of Trey Mancini.
Unequivocally, let me state that I personally believe it would be a huge mistake for the Orioles to trade Mancini. He’s not only going to be the Birds’ lone all-star representative, but he actually deserves the honor. In saying that I mean that he’s going to earn his way onto the roster as opposed to being included to satisfy the Orioles having a representative.
However Mancini’s also become a team leader. And he wasn’t tabbed as being that guy – if anything, Cedric Mullins was. (And he’s been back in the minors for some time.) With Mancini it happened organically. He appeared to kind of tell himself that he was going to be considered the veteran on the roster, and he had to help the younger guys along. Most of whom I might add aren’t that much younger than Mancini himself.
You need someone like that in the clubhouse. Let’s not act like guys with leadership skill are dime a dozen. They aren’t. Losing Mancini wouldn’t only hurt the team in terms of statistics and so forth, but it would probably hurt morale. Again, unequivocally I think it would be a mistake to trade Mancini. He’s someone around whom the Orioles should build.
The reason that some people say that he should be traded is because he would probably bring the Orioles the biggest haul in terms of prospects. Mancini’s under team control until 2023. So he would have to fetch one heck of a return. And I’m talking potentially more than they got last year for Machado.
However I think that when you start trading guys like Mancini (at this stage at least) you’re almost committing yourself to rebuilding in perpetuity. Mancini’s still what one would consider a young player. So again, it behooves the Orioles to build around him. If you start trading your young talent away, You’re kind of extending the process.
So keep Mancini. That would be my advice to GM Mike Elias. Keep him and build the franchise with him as the centerpiece. Because he’s proven on and off the field that he’s worthy of playing that role.