Chris Flexen Trade #1: Striking a Deal with the Birds for Run Production
The Orioles made an unexpected turn toward playoff contention in 2022, racking 83 wins. The longtime AL East cellar dweller finished fourth in the division thanks to a mix of rookies (Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson) and veterans (Rougned Odor, Cedric Mullins). However, a noted area of improvement is the starting rotation, where the Orioles lack veteran leadership.
The four starting options on the roster include Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells, and Austin Voth. However, if the Orioles want to take the next step, they need solid mid-rotation additions this winter. Enter Chris Flexen, who would immediately slot in the three spot for AL Manager of the Year runner-up Brandon Hyde.
In this proposed deal, the Orioles get their veteran starter and replenish their minor league system, while the Mariners get a controllable power bat with positional versatility. In addition, this trade would create a Jesse Winker-sized trade chip for General Manager Justin Hollander, which he could use in a separate deal.
Giving up Taylor Trammell hurts, but as the adage goes, “You have to give up something to get something.” Adding Anthony Santander’s run production ability to the bottom of the lineup for three years would help the team immensely. Additionally, he hits the ball hard (40% Hard hit Rate), which seems to be a rising trend.
There was a black hole in the 7-9 spots in the lineup for most of the year. Imagine putting a switch-hitting power hitter down there with the ability to hit 30 dingers while spelling Ty France at first and Teoscar Hernandez in a corner outfield spot.