BALTIMORE (AP) — Sitting in fourth place in the AL East with a losing record, the Baltimore Orioles refused to abandon their chances of making a playoff run.
The Orioles handled the non-waiver trade deadline as buyers, adding two pitchers and infielder Tim Beckham in hopes of salvaging a season that has thus far been a struggle.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette beat the deadline Monday by obtaining Beckham, who bolsters an injury-riddled infield that’s currently without shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility player Ryan Flaherty.
Duquette got Beckham, the first player chosen in the 2008 amateur draft, from Tampa Bay for minor league pitcher Tobias Myers.
Beckham hit .259 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs for Tampa Bay this season. The 27-year-old isn’t just a quick fix; he’s under contract until 2021.
“I’m shocked,” Beckham said in Houston, where the Rays were facing the Astros. “It’s a crazy feeling. I’ve never had this feeling before. It’s my first time being traded, my first time in a different organization. But I’m ready to get after it and play some ball.”
The Orioles on Monday also obtained minor league pitcher Yefry Ramirez from the Yankees for international signing bonus pool money. And, over the weekend, Duquette obtained starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
Duquette confirmed that other teams were interested in trading for relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach, but he was more interested in adding than subtracting — even though the Orioles entered Monday with a 50-54 record, 6 ½ games behind New York in the division and 5 ½ games out of the second wild-card slot.
“We’re going to take a shot at getting the most out of this season,” Duquette said. “Nobody is running away with the American League East. The teams are so evenly matched. If you make a move here or there and it jells, who knows? We still have some hope that we can make the playoffs.
“We like our guys and we like our team. You do one or two things right and get on a roll … there’s still hope. The wild card keeps hope alive for a lot of teams. Frankly, I’m glad that we’re adding. I would much rather be adding this time of year than subtracting.”
Hellickson will make his first start with the Orioles on Wednesday. Obtained from Philadelphia on Friday night, the right-hander pitched on a Tampa Bay team that made a storied run to a playoff spot in 2011.
“There’s still two months of baseball to play and I’ve been part of teams that came back from nine back in a month,” he said Monday afternoon. “It’s definitely doable. It’s going to be fun to do things people say you can’t do.”
Hellickson came from a last-place team. Beckham, on the other hand, said farewell to a club that was three games better than Baltimore.
“It’s on to a new chapter,” Beckham said. “I’m looking forward to helping Baltimore win some ballgames.”