BALTIMORE — Minutes after the Orioles shipped Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Atlanta Braves for four prospects and international signing bonus slot money, the team dealt Jonathan Schoop to the Milwaukee Brewers.
For Schoop, the Orioles receive infielder Jonathan Villar (on the 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain), right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz (No. 7 prospect) and shortstop Jean Carmona (No. 14 prospect).
Hours before the 4:00 non-waiver trade deadline, it appeared that the Orioles would not deal any of their players with club control beyond the 2018 season. Things changed very quickly, with Gausman (two more years of club control), Schoop (one more year of club control), and O’Day (free agent in 2020) all on their way out of Baltimore.
Out of all the controllable players the Orioles let go of on Tuesday, Schoop is easily the hardest to see go. After the Orioles failed to lock Manny Machado down with a long-term deal, many assumed that they would try to correct their wrongdoing by signing Schoop to a new contract. Now, they give away their 26-year-old power-hitting second baseman who’s hitting .349 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in his last 14 games.
In Milwaukee, Schoop will get an opportunity to win the National League Central and compete for a playoff spot. As things stand now, the Brewers (62-47) sit one game behind the Chicago Cubs (61-44) for first place in the NL Central. The Brewers lead the NL Wild Card race by 2.5 games, but the Diamondbacks (59-49) are right on their heals with both Atlanta (56-47) and Colorado (57-48) a half-game back.
For the Orioles, Villar looks to join the major league roster once his thumb is healed. He’s projected to return in early August, so it should not be too long before he makes his Orioles debut. Villar plays every infield position except first base. In 257 at-bats this season, he owns a .261 average with six home runs, 22 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. He’s 27-years-old and won’t hit free agency until 2021.
The Rangers drafted Ortiz 30th overall in the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft before trading him to the Brewers’ system in 2016. Ortiz is 22-years-old and 230 pounds. His fastball carries into the upper 90’s and he throws strikes. In 11 starts (16 appearances) at Double-A Biloxi this season, Ortiz is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 68 innings pitched.
Like Villar, Carmona, 18, is versatile in the infield with the exception of first base. He’s a switch-hitter who carries a higher batting average from the left side (.250) than the right side (.194) so far in 2018 with the Helena Brewers, Milwaukee’s Rookie League affiliate. The best attribute of his defense could be his arm. Scouts say that Carmona’s arm is good enough for shortstop and even third base.
Although the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, players can still be moved through August. The main difference is that if the Orioles were to move a player now, they would need said player to pass through waivers, meaning that every other MLB team would get a look at the trade before passing it through.
Image Credit: Camden Chat