Baltimore Orioles open second half against New York

The Baltimore Orioles open the second half of the season tonight against the New York Yankees at home. Ironically, they do so in the same position that they opened the first half (and the season): at the .500 mark. Raise your hand if you saw that coming…!

Obviously the O’s begin play once again against perhaps the best team in baseball, that being New York. So this weekend’s series is certainly a “measuring stick” in a sense. Will the starting pitching be as strong as it was down the stretch for the last two months or so? Will the bullpen be as strong as it’s been almost since day one of the season? Will Oriole bats remain hot?

These are all questions that will be answered in due course. Another question that will be answered is what will the Orioles do at the trade deadline? The MLB trade deadline was pushed back to August 2nd this year, and of course there’s only one deadline now. (This as opposed to in the past when they had a waiver trade deadline at the end of August.) Will the O’s but or sell?

My personal opinion is that it’s not quite time to buy yet (this year). Now if they come shooting out the gate in the second half and are in playoff position, maybe that opinion changes. So the real question is whether Trey Mancini gets traded. Needless to say, that’s a really tough call.

Mike Elias needs to do his homework on Mancini – and I have no doubt that he is. If it appears that there’s a genuine interest in hitting the free agent market, he should probably be traded. And that’s a hard pill to swallow. I think the O’s should try to keep him and lock him up to a long term deal, but if his agent isn’t amenable to that, they should consider trading him. So long as they get fair value in return.

The O’s also have a deal in place for their first round pick yesterday. Jackson Holliday’s deal is for a reported $8.19 million. It’s unclear where Holliday will be assigned, but I would think the Gulf Coast League Orioles would at least be an option.

The aforementioned series with New York begins tonight at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Jameson Taillon. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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