Jul 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles celebrate after defeating the Oakland Athletics 8-4 at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

As trade deadline approaches, Baltimore Orioles look to improve at a number of positions

Various tweets from individuals that cover the Baltimore Orioles provided some insight as to what is on the team’s radar with Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching. One of my favorite follows for Orioles tidbits is Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. He had a couple of slight eyebrow-raising tweets from earlier today.

Duq is O’s executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Now you’re in the know on that.

What team wouldn’t want to upgrade their pitching? From a few tweets I’ve read, the issue is that the Orioles are not willing to deal any of their top prospects to acquire better talent. I thought this would be the O’s line here and was a primary reason I did not include them in my piece about possible destinations for Boston’s Jon Lester.

This also leads to the “adding depth” comment. Since the O’s are unwilling to part with any top prospects (say, Kevin Gausman), they are likely to scope the “lower tier” of available starters.

Yes, defense up the middle is a priority for manager Buck Showalter. Usually is for all managers. Consider this.

Even with Matt Wieters on the mend, Orioles catcher are performing nicely in his absence. I’m referring to the defense here, not the bat. And I’m also referring to Caleb Joseph. While the bat hasn’t been spectacular (.197/.271/.315, 3 HR, 12 RBI), the defense has been stellar (DRS of 8, 2nd among all AL catchers who have logged at least 350 innings).

The same holds true for second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Not much with the stick (.216/.253/.329, 8 HR, 27 RBI), but the defense has been beyond solid (DRS of 7, 3rd among all qualified AL second basemen).

Now throw in the defense of shortstop J.J. Hardy (DRS of 6) and center fielder Adam Jones (Jones’ DRS isn’t impressive at -3, but he does own a UZR of 6.2 and UZR/150 of 10.8), and this is one reason the Orioles sit atop the AL East. They are strong up the middle of the diamond.

Don’t look for the Orioles to make that big splash. If they do, there will surely be some high-ranked prospects involved.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles MLB Trade Deadline MLB Trade Rumors

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