10: Orioles blow it up at the trade deadline & reminiscing on the career of Ray Lewis

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

It’s a loaded episode this week as the guys give their initial thoughts on the Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop trades (29:15), but as always things start with the weekly numbers segment (6:00). It’s fitting that this is episode ten because Adam Jones has been making headlines recently as he decided to stay in Baltimore with the O’s. The guys look back on Jones’ career so far and give their takes on his decision (16:30).

After wrapping up all the Orioles news for the week, the conversation switches to the Ravens (39:50) and their big weekend coming up. It all starts with their first preseason game of the year on Thursday (41:20) and then concludes with a celebration when Ray Lewis enters the Hall Of Fame on Saturday night (45:30).

To honor Lewis’ big achievement, the Charm City Bird Watch crew gives their favorite memories of Ray’s career and have some fun talking about his famous pregame introduction and dance (52:22). The podcast concludes with some prop bets for Ray’s speech (58:23).

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

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Orioles trade Jonathan Schoop to Brewers

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

Orioles trade Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to Braves

BALTIMORE — With Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline looming, the Baltimore Orioles surprised everyone by agreeing to trade Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to Atlanta.

The Orioles received four prospects in return for Gausman and O’Day – Infielder Jean Carlos Encarnacion, catcher Brett Cumberland, left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmermann and right-handed pitcher Evan Phillips. The Braves have one of the most loaded farm systems in baseball and sent two of their top 30 prospects to Baltimore in the deal.

Encarnacion headlines the group as one of the best infielders coming up in the Braves system. He was signed in 2016 at the age of 18 out of the Dominican Republic and has spent the past two years playing rookie ball. In 2018 he was moved to Single-A Rome where he is currently hitting .288 with 10 homers and 57 RBI’s in just under 100 games. His 100 strikeouts are a concern but Encarnacion has shown a lot of potential as a hitter.

Standing at 6’3″, he could grow into a power hitter but for now his ability to make contact is enough to earn him attention. Defensively, Encarnacion has settled into a role at third base after initially playing some shortstop.

Cumberland rounds out the Braves top 30 prospect list as one of a few young catchers in their farm system. As a switch hitter, Cumberland has shown some power from both sides of the plate but often swings and misses. The 23-year-old has spent time at Single-A and Double-A this season where he is hitting just .228 with 90 strikeouts in 87 games. His defense behind the plate is still a work in progress as well.

Outside of these top 30 pickups, the Orioles also acquired two pitching prospects. Zimmermann will likely make more headlines in this deal as a starter, while Phillips continues to develop as a reliever. Zimmermann is a lefty with good strikeout numbers. In 20 starts between Single-A and Double-A, he has a 9-4 record with a 2.96 ERA. His 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings is also a good sign.

Phillips is a right-handed pitcher who started his minor league journey back in 2015. He currently finds himself at the Triple-A level with a 1.99 ERA and eight saves in 40.2 innings of relief. Phillips also made his major league debut with the Braves earlier this season but struggled in his brief appearances.

Throughout the month of July the Orioles front office has been dead set on just trading the players with expiring contracts. Dan Duquette and company stated that the door was also open for offers on players like Gausman, Jonathan Schoop and Mychal Givens, but until Tuesday afternoon this just felt like a safe media answer. In addition to the Gausman deal, the O’s ended up trading Schoop to the Brewers.

However, with Adam Jones‘s recent decision to not waive his no-trade clause, the Orioles may have felt more pressure to deal Gausman and Schoop, despite having years left on their contracts, to ensure that their farm system gets the overhaul it desperately needs.

Gausman was selected by the Orioles in the first round of the 2012 draft and made his major league debut a year later. By 2014 he was a consistent member of the starting rotation, earning seven wins in 20 starts. The Orioles had seemingly turned the franchise around after 2012 and Gausman was projected to be their No. 1 pitcher as they became perennial contenders.

While the 27-year-old has certainly looked like an ace on many occasions, he has struggled with consistency. Over the past five seasons in Baltimore Gausman has gone 36-46 with a 4.12 ERA.

Gausman will join an Atlanta team right in the middle of a playoff hunt. He will also be greeted by some former teammates like Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty. Fellow pitcher Brad Brach was also traded to the Braves this past Sunday.

If Atlanta does end up making the playoffs, Gausman has some experience under his belt that could benefit his new team. During the 2014 playoff run, Gausman never started a game but he did toss eight innings of relief between three games. In those appearances Gausman surrendered just one run and struck out seven.

O’Day is an interesting addition to the trade considering he finds himself out for the rest of the year. It’s not surprising that his name never came up in trade conversations after suffering the injury but with the Orioles moving toward a full rebuild, it makes sense to add him to this deal as a sweetener.

In seven seasons with the Orioles, O’Day accumulated a 28-14 record with a 2.40 ERA as a reliever. His unique pitching motion helped make him a deceptive change of pace coming out of the bullpen. In recent years he performed well pitching in the setup role before Zach Britton would enter for a save opportunity.

Image credit: Evan Habeeb / USA Today Sports