Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles traded SS Jose Iglesias to the Anaheim Angels. The move came as a surprise, seeing that the Birds had re-upped Iglesias for at least another season. In return for Iglesias, the Orioles received RHP’s Garrett Stallings and Jean Pinto.
GM Mike Elias spoke to the local media after consummating the trade, and attested to the importance of getting young talent into the system:
He’s not a player that we would have traded lightly, but we knew there were some open shortstop jobs around the league, we knew he was very attractive for his offensive and defensive and leadership skills that he put on display here with the Orioles. And I think we got two quality arms from the Angels. One of whom, in particular, is somebody that we’ve been focused on since he was in the 2019 draft, Garrett Stallings, one of the best pitchers in the Southeastern Conference that year. Went in the fifth round. We were impressed with him then and while he has not officially played professional baseball because he was shut down after throwing 100 innings at Tennessee, which the Angels do with their draft picks, and then the minor league cancellation is here, we got to scout him in person and also video and data this year through their instructional league. He also appeared briefly at their summer camp when they had some spots open up due to some players leaving camp on their team.
I think it’s another great starting pitching prospect to add to what’s becoming a very impressive stack up in our system. We’re getting all that we can get. I’ve said before that I don’t know that I would trade our starting pitching in the minor leagues right now for anyone else’s and this makes me feel even stronger that that might be the case. So we’re looking forward to working with him. We’re sad to see Iggy go, but this is the business of getting this organization to a long-term period of sustainability.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
What Elias is in effect saying is that the Orioles’ goal in 2021 isn’t so much to win. It’s to continue developing and to get younger. It’s about the future, not 2021. The prospects that the Orioles got in return aren’t top tier prospects per se, but you never know – with any prospect. Stallings was the number 21-ranked prospect in the Anaheim farm system.
I’m sure that different fans will have different opinions on this trade. Personally I believe that you always have to have an eye on the future. The Birds will need to find a new starting SS now, and my prediction is that they look outside the organization for that. Just a prediction – not to be taken as gospel!