Analysis: Did the Baltimore Orioles get value in trades of Trey Mancini, Jorge Lopez?

Baltimore OriolesBaltimore Orioles GM Mike Elias stuck to his preseason plans and made himself a seller at the trade deadline, flipping Trey Mancini and closer Jorge Lopez for prospects, even as the O’s sit just on the edge of the AL wild-card race.

The moves would have made sense if Elias had gotten more in value in return.

For Mancini (11 HR, 43 RBI, .754 OPS, 2.0 WAR in 2022), Elias got back a pair of decent prospects, right-handed pitchers Seth Johnson (who now ranks as the O’s #8 minor-league prospect) and Chayce McDermott (now the #12 prospect in the O’s system).

For Lopez (4-6, 1.94 ERA, 20 saves, 0.953 WHIP, 1.9 WAR in 2022), the O’s got back … not as much.

Lopez netted four pitchers from Minnesota’s system, only one of whom, left-hander Cade Povich, now ranks in the O’s top 30 prospects.

Of the group, only Yennier Cano, 28, has pitched above the High-A level. In 10 relief appearances with the Twins this season, he was 1-0 with a 9.22 ERA and 2.049 WHIP.

The O’s immediately assigned Cano to Triple-A Norfolk. A 28-year-old reliever in Triple-A isn’t far from being out of baseball.

Povich, 22, a 2021 third-round pick, projects as a potential back-end starter.

The other two pick-ups in the Lopez trade, Juan Rojas, 18, and Juan Nunez, 21, are still in Rookie ball.

From the Mancini trade, Johnson, 24, the 40th pick in the 2019 draft, has promise, with an asterisk. His fastball touches 98 mph, and scouts look at him as a potential front-end starter, but, bad news, he needs Tommy John surgery, so his progress through the minors is delayed until 2024.

McDermott, 23, a fourth-round pick in 2021, has already undergone Tommy John surgery, in college, has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s, is a bit more iffy – scouts wonder whether he can remain a starter with his lack of control and command.

For a GM selling important parts despite being in the wild-card race, you might have expected more in return.


Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but I'm over that. Oh, and I'm a progressive who voted for Biden, but I'm over that, too. (We need somebody else in 2024!) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]