Cleveland Indians: How can Tribe, Orioles become partners at deadline?

Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
Cleveland Indians, Bobby Bradley
Bobby Bradley #44 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

How can Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles become partners at deadline?

For the second time within just a couple weeks the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles will go head-to-head, this time playing at Progressive Field in Cleveland. In the last meeting, the Orioles were able to snag two games from the Tribe, despite being the worst team in baseball. Now, the Cleveland Indians will hope to use a home field advantage to right the wrongs from the first series.

Before the last series against the Orioles, we talked about three players for the Orioles that could be trade targets for the Tribe at the trade deadline. The club has already had a chance to get a look at those players, in addition to others, but having an interest in a player is only the first step in the process. What else needs to happen for the two organizations to strike a deal before the trade deadline?

For Baltimore, they really just need to continue on the same track that they’ve started the season. A 22-42 record will surely make them sellers at the deadline, but unfortunately they won’t have much to sell. Being a young and rebuilding team, most players will be part of future plans and won’t be on the block. They’ve also moved on from most of their veterans, leaving only a handful of players that will be both available and draw interest.

For Cleveland, the drive to be a buyer at the deadline means the club needs to start stringing together wins, both consecutively and consistently. The team has managed to piece together a 34-28 record, but that’s come with a lot of uncertainty.

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Since June 1, the Cleveland Indians have won just two consecutive games. In their defense, they’ve only played nine games in that time, so there haven’t been too many chances to win back-to-back games. However, a team that is aiming for the playoffs also shouldn’t be losing a series to the worst team in baseball.

The next aspect from the perspective of the Cleveland Indians is a fit. Sure, the team has needs, but can they find what they need on the roster of the Baltimore Orioles? The main need for Cleveland is starting pitching. Even fully healthy, the team is still missing at least one spot in the starting rotation and a second is still shaky. Beyond that, there isn’t one specific need that could be solved in a single trade.

Luckily, the Orioles have a few pitchers that could be options. John Means is the most common name brought up in trade talk, but he might still be outside of the price range that the front office is willing pay.

Despite being a four-game series, there really isn’t a pitcher that will face the Tribe that could be a potential trade target. Matt Harvey and Keegan Akin are possibilities, but not great ones. Harvey is well past his prime and is unsteady at best. As for Akin, he’s on the younger side and might fit into the Orioles plans for the future, making him a difficult target to land.

Beyond starting pitching, the needs of the Cleveland Indians probably can’t be solved in a single move or trade. There’s options in the outfield, they are just still working to get healthy and find the hot hand.

The same can be said for the infield. Amed Rosario has been one of the better players in the lineup, so finding space for him each game will be key. On top of that, Bobby Bradley has looked promising early on.

If anything, strong depth could be something to pursue that the Baltimore Orioles have. Owen Miller and Yu Chang have struggled at the plate, so finding a player that can rotate at those spots would be a big addition.

When it comes down to it, there won’t be any deals made soon. These are things that will happen down the road, but the planning began long ago and continues now.

Games against potential trade partners build portfolios and make the club more confident in their decision, meaning a trade with the Orioles after playing them twice within a couple weeks could be more likely. Again, don’t expect a trade to happen immediately following the series, but it wouldn’t be a total shock for one to happen within the next month or so.

Next. 60 games in, is this season better or worse than last?. dark