Scott Miller, a national MLB columnist for Bleacher Report, joins Scott and Jeremy on The Fan to discuss the Orioles’ potential trade for an ace pitcher, as well as wildcard playoff scenarios in the Majors.
It’s been well documented that the Orioles’ missing piece to a dominating postseason run is an ace pitcher. Naturally, rumors have stirred regarding possible candidates whom Baltimore might make a play for, the latest of which involves White Sox starter Chris Sale.
“I would be shocked if the White Sox traded Chris Sale,” said Miller.
“If the Orioles were to pull off a trade for him or David Price, it would put them over the top. Their lineup is second to none, and those are two of the few actual premier aces in the majors today.”
As for players elsewhere in the Majors who could possibly be on the trading block, Miller mentioned a few middle infielders who have been highly productive over the last several years.
“Tulowitzki was viewed as the guy, after Helton retired, who would step up and be the franchise player. He seems to be worn out by the losing,” said Miller. “Utley could certainly help a contender. He’s not what he was in his prime with the Phillies, but he could certainly help.”
Although middle infielders are certainly a priority for some contenders, middle relievers are far more important in today’s game, as Miller specified.
“A number of teams need bullpen help, and even though those [available] aren’t the marquee guys, so many games are won and lost in the bullpen these days because starting pitchers just can’t go very far into games,” said Miller.
However, the Orioles are not one of those contenders who need bullpen depth, posting a 684/310 strikeout-to-walk average, and racking up 59 saves thus far, according to ESPN.com’s statistics.
“The orioles ought to win the division, I really believe it. The Blue Jays have the potential, but they’ve been inconsistent. The Yankees should be selling, but could you ever see them doing so? No, so it’s Baltimore’s to lose,” said Miller.
“In the end I think the Rays will prove to be the most competition for the Orioles.”
Moreover, though the AL East was thought at the beginning of the season to account for at least one wildcard team, it looks as though the west coast may hold both of those spots.
“If you look at the wildcard right now, I think it’s going to be the Angels and the Mariners,” Miller said.