The 411 On Potential Cubs Trade Partners: Orioles

Kevin Gausman doing his best deer in headlights impression. - Rob Carr

A high powered offense has carried a pathetic starting rotation so far, but they'll need to upgrade that pitching staff if they want to make any noise in October.

Postseason Outlook

The Orioles sit in wild card position and are two games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. Unlike last year, their run differential supports the profile of a contender. With the competition in the AL East, it's not going to be easy and they can use some reinforcements.

Needs (likelihood to deal for position in italics)

Starting pitching-High: This team ranks 27th out of 30 in starter ERA. Their pitching staff is an absolute disaster. They tried to stem the bleeding by rushing touted prospect Kevin Gausman, but he was lit up in five starts. They need a top of the rotation starter if they're serious about making, and advancing, in the playoffs. Hell, they probably need another starter in addition to that top of the rotation starter.

Bullpen-Medium: Troy Patton and Brian Matusz have both struggled as lefties out of their pen, so that could be an area they look at. Pedro Strop was the O's setup man last year, but he's been hit hard so far this season. One arm here would do, they have four solid guys and a bunch of question marks.

Second Base-High: There's been some hand wringing over the Cubs losing Ryan Flaherty to the O's in the Rule 5 draft. That's pretty silly, because this guy is a one-man dumpster fire. He's 26 and OPSing .526. Brian Roberts is coming back from injury soon, but he's played in 108 games the past four years and has been brutal offensively in that span. The Orioles need to find another option here.

Fits on the Cub Roster

Rumors abound that the O's aren't interested in Matt Garza. But there have been indications that the O's are interested in Scott Feldman. Carlos Villanueva and James Russell could also help them solidify their bullpen, with Villanueva serving in a swing role. The Cubs have a couple of guys in Darwin Barney and Luis Valbuena that the Orioles may look at to help them at second base.

What's in it for the Cubs?

BA Top 10 Orioles Prospects

Sickels' Top 20 Orioles Prospects

Fangraphs Top 15 Orioles Prospects

Ranked the 20th- and 17th-best organization for talent by Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America, respectively, this is a top-heavy farm system that may not fit in well with the Cubs' needs. Dylan Bundy (out with an arm injury) and Kevin Gausman are likely untouchable. After that, it drops off quickly. Eduardo Rodriguez is a 20-year-old lefty starter that sounds like he's taken a big jump in the past year. He's at High-A right now and has a 2.99 ERA while averaging 7.24 K/9. Nick Delmonico has been mashing at High-A (11 homers in 174 at bats) and his history shows he can draw a walk and hit for some power. He's got a weird defensive profile and people aren't sure if he's a second baseman or a first baseman. If the Cubs think he can stick at second base, he could be an interesting option. Outside of those guys... there just isn't much in the Orioles system.

Overall Fit- Medium

The Cubs have a couple of options to help the Orioles rotation problems, but if the Orioles aren't interested in Matt Garza, then it's really down to Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva. There aren't a whole lot of quality pitching prospects in the Orioles system outside of Gausman and Bundy, so this fit is just OK.

Next Up: The New York Yankees

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