Former MLB GM Sees Potential Trade from an AL East Team
Main Photo: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for MLB to see its first of the season and a big one at that. The Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres completed a five-player deal late Friday night that wasn’t official until Saturday morning. San Diego acquired Luis Arraez from Miami for multiple prospects. Center fielder Dillon Head, the 25th pick in last year’s MLB Draft, plus three other minor leaguers. It was a trade that got many wondering about other high-caliber players who could be on the move before the trade deadline.

One of those rumors is hovering around the Baltimore Orioles and their bullpen. The Orioles are off to a fine start this season as they have some of the best offensive players in their lineup. The starting rotation is clicking yet the bullpen has its issues that need to be fixed. Baltimore has enough firepower to pull off a potential trade that can help them build their bullpen.

Heston Kjerstad a Possible Trade Option for Baltimore

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden broke down three trades he would like to see happen. The former Cincinnati Reds general manager flirted with the idea of the Baltimore Orioles trading Heston Kjerstad to the Cleveland Guardians

“The Guardians need to upgrade right field for the short and long-term and acquiring Kjerstad, the second overall pick from the 2020 draft, would accomplish both aims. Kjerstad, 25, slashed .349/.431/.744 at Triple-A This season with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs and has gone 2-for-9 since being promoted from the majors two weeks ago. However, the Orioles outfield is overcrowded with right fielder Anthony Santander, center fielder Cedric Mullins and left fielders Colton Cowser and Austin Hays, along with Kyle Stowers and Coby Mayo, who are major-league-ready but at Triple-A. Kjerstad is talented but could be expendable…

“In this trade, the Orioles would acquire two solid, controllable relievers to help fortify their bullpen. Hunter Gaddis has a 2.87 ERA in 17 appearances for Cleveland this season with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings and 1.7 walks per nine. Cade Smith has a 2.30 ERA and 1.43 FIP in his first year in the big leagues with 13.8 percent strikeouts per nine (24 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings). The Guardians could afford to deal with both righties because they have a deep bullpen with closer Emmanuel Clase and set-up men such as Tim Herrin, Scott Barlow and Nick Sandin, along with relievers working their way back from injuries and more good arms in the minors who are ready for promotions.”

It’s a deal that won’t happen, but it’s one Bowden believes could make sense for both clubs. All three players are homegrown talents. It could be something to consider if the Orioles bullpen continues with its hiccups.

Kjerstad’s Brief Tenure with the Orioles

Kjerstad made his debut at the end of the 2023 season and posted a .748 OPS with two home runs in 13 games. Kjerstad dominated in Triple-A this season, hitting .349/.431/.744 with an International League-leading ten home runs in 21 games. Kjerstad’s promotion came at a time when many young Orioles hitters are dominating at the MLB level. Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson have established themselves as stars. However, that same high-level production has extended to other young Orioles.

This article first appeared on Last Word On Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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