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June 28, 2012 | Barry Rankin

The Orioles are exceeding expectations at the moment. With a record of 41-33, they stand five games behind the hated New York Yankees. It has been speculated for weeks that the Orioles are looking to make trades to help the club. Orioles President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said on Saturday that he has been given the green light from ownership to pursue deals that would help the team. http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2012/06/duquette-given-green-light-to-be-aggressive.html #believeitwheniseeit

I have some ideas as to what they should pursue. They have clear needs in the rotation and at third base.  There are several pitchers available in “the right” trade. However several such pitchers, Ryan Dempster (Cubs), Shaun Marcum (Brewers) and Joe Saunders (Diamondbacks) have recently been injured and have thinned the market.

At third base the main player available at this time is Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres. It has been said that it will “take alot” to get him  http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/19420769/padres-will-listen-on-headley-but-it-will-require-a-lot-to-acquire-him-in-trade

There are several tradable players within the Orioles minor league system. The two top prospects, shortstop Manny Machado and right handed pitcher Dylan Bundy, are considered untouchable and will not be dealt. However, pitchers like Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta, who have been given chances to succeed and take a rotation spot, and have failed, should, in my opinion, be made available.

Also available, should be position player prospects that are blocked by other players, such as outfielder Xavier Avery, and shortstop Jonathan Schoop. Schoop would be a point of contention within the organization, but since he is a natural shortstop with Machado’s presence in the organization, he will not get the opportunity to play the position. He may turn out to be a better second or third baseman, but he is probably the best prospect that the team would be willing to deal.

With that said, I would like to open up the interactive portion of this blog. please contact me with your thoughts. You can do this in several ways. The first way is to contact me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/barry.rankin.904 You may also tweet me at www.twitter.com/br11181, or if you prefer the simple way, just comment on this post.

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