The Orioles to replace Kyle Bradish with astros superstar due to…

If Kyle Bradish’s injury becomes more serious, the Orioles have a lot of options.

Although there are deals to be made, the squad has enough depth to cover for an injury to one of its players.
For some weeks, there has been conjecture that the Orioles may require a starting pitcher soon. After season-ending injuries to Tyler Wells and John Means, the team’s depth was compromised. Things became even more concerning over the weekend when Kyle Bradish was placed on the injured list due to an elbow injury, the severity of which is still unknown.

It is unclear if Bradish is done for the year just yet. For now, the team has placed him on the 15-day IL and said that he will undergo additional testing. But we already knew that he was playing with a slight tear in his UCL, so the options would seem to be either another non-surgical approach that will still require a lengthy absence and rehab, or Tommy John, which will knock him out for the rest of 2024 and most of 2025. In both cases, the Orioles will need to replace what has been an impact, ace-level arm.

Context is important here. It’s not as if the Orioles are desperate for pitching help of any kind. Their staff, as assembled, is still quite good and does include decent organizational depth. They are not in a position where simply a warm body or an innings eater would represent an upgrade.

Corbin Burnes is a Cy Young contender with his 2.14 ERA. Grayson Rodriguez has put forward an impressive sophomore campaign that has him positioned as the ace-in-waiting. Cole Irvin has been a revelation as a pitch-to-contact southpaw that frustrates the opposition. Albert Suárez has come out of absolutely nowhere to serve as a dominant swingman as a 34-year-old after years overseas. Cade Povich is young but has impressed. And don’t forget about Dean Kremer, who is currently on the IL, but has once again been a dependable back-end piece. This group is plenty good enough to see these O’s through to a playoff berth.

But when Mike Elias went and traded for Burnes back in February, the goal was not simply a repeat of 2023, where the team dazzled during the summer and fell flat by the fall. It was clear that the front office felt it was time to aim higher. “World Series or bust” probably isn’t exactly right, but it’s close.

The Elias-led warehouse is never entirely focused on the present season. While Burnes may leave in the offseason, this roster has long-term ambitions. Any move they make needs to be done with that in mind, giving them a chance to win a World Series both in 2024 and beyond.

But that does not mean that rentals are off the table entirely. After all, much of the talk throughout this past offseason was about Elias chasing pitchers with years of team control remaining only for him to land on Burnes and his expiring contract. Burnes was also a special case, the type of arm that not only upgraded the rotation but took it to an entirely different level. Those types of talents are rare to find, especially on the trade market, so it made sense to jump on one. It does not appear that a similar arm will be available at this year’s trade deadline.

In any case, there are a few pending free agents that may be on the trading block that would also upgrade the Orioles current pitching situation.

RHP Jack Flaherty – Tigers, 28 years old, free agent after 2024

Re-adding Flaherty may anger more fans than it pleases. He stunk as a rental for the Orioles just last year (6.75 ERA over nine appearances). But he has been legitimately dominant in Detroit, loading up on strikeouts, and looks like a guy that wants to land a big contract in the offseason.

RHP Justin Verlander, Astros, 41 years old, free agent after 2024

This is not the Verlander of old, and he has recent injury concerns (as you would expect for an athlete over 40), but the guy is a future Hall of Famer with experience as a late-season mercenary. Plus, he shouldn’t cost all that much in terms of a trade return. That is sort of the ideal rental option.

RHP Luis Severino – Mets, 30 years old, free agent after 2024

Try to push the 2023 version of Severino out of your mind. This is the same player that was on a star trajectory with the Yankees several seasons ago. His success this year has come from limiting hard contact, and he still has that great fastball (averages 96 mph).

While there may be other expiring contracts that could fit as depth/innings eaters, that isn’t exactly a need for the Orioles. Suárez or Irvin could fit the bill there if Kremer returns soon. Chayce McDermott may still debut as an internal option with upside. And Bruce Zimmermann is lurking on the 40-man roster as a spot start option. So, while a José Quintana type may have made sense a season or two ago, it would feel like a misuse of resources this time around.

But what is possible is that Orioles invest even more of their young assets into a trade for a pitcher with multiple years of team control remaining. That would hedge the organization’s bets a bit and give them a platform on which to build for 2025 or longer. Of course, that could be pricey in some instances, and Elias is yet to have the stomach for a huge investment on the trade front. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

LHP Garrett Crochet – White Sox – 25 years old, team control through 2026

Chicago is said to be open to trading just about anyone. Crochet is risky because this is his first major league season as a starter. But it’s hard to argue with the results. He is dominating the opposition despite a sorry supporting cast. That high-powered left arm might work even better in Camden Yards.

RHP Erick Fedde – White Sox – 31 years old, signed through 2025

Another KBO success story, Fedde has re-emerged in MLB this season as a dependable arm on a bad White Sox team. He won’t grab headlines like Crochet, but he has a longer history of starting in the majors. So there would seemingly be less risk of slowdown late in the season.

LHP Tyler Anderson – Angels – 34 years old, signed through 2025

This one would be a little scary. Anderson has not had the most consistent career. He was an all star in 2022 after a long history of being mediocre. Then he got a big deal with the Angels and stunk in his first season there. But he has been much better in 2024, albeit with worrisome strikeout and walk rates.

RHP José Soriano – Angels – 25 years old, team control through 2028

The O’s would really have to pay up here, but it could be a gamble worth taking. Soriano has a huge sinker that flirts with triple digits and induces oodles of ground balls. That could play well with a young, athletic infield in Baltimore. And the Orioles are familiar with taking Angels players and turning them into studs (see: Bradish, Kyle).

LHP Jesús Luzardo – Marlins – 26 years old, team control through 2026

Perhaps the name most cited in the Orioles’ search for pitching help. That almost makes it feel like a smoke screen at this point. Luzardo has not been very good this season (5.00 ERA), has a history of arm issues, and even dealt with his own elbow problem this season. But there has also been talk of the O’s looking to reunite with Tanner Scott, so maybe a package deal would make sense. But it wouldn’t feel great to part with top-tier prospects here.

RHP Dylan Cease – Padres, 28 years old, team control through 2025

The other name attached to the Orioles all winter. Ultimately, Cease departed the White Sox and went to San Diego. He has done well there (3.95 ERA, 105 strikeouts, 86.2 innings), and you can be sure Elias and his lieutenants are familiar with his stuff. Perhaps the cost with half a season less of control would be more palatable.

RHP Michael King – Padres, 29 years old, team control through 2025

The stuff has always been impressive for King, and his peripherals this season are intriguing. He gets tons of strikeouts and induces weak contact. The Orioles might be able to tweak him to find another level, even at his somewhat advanced age. And if it doesn’t work, there is an easy fall back as a reliever, something King has ton plenty at the major league level. Think of him as a slightly more talented version of Tyler Wells.

The Orioles probably won’t react too quickly to the Bradish news. There is work to be done on what exactly the next steps are for the pitcher himself. But even if Tommy John is the decision, there are still things to learn internally before selling the farm for a Bradlish replacement.

Povich has been a fringy top 100 type of prospect for a few seasons, and had been quite good in Triple-A prior to his call-up this season. He will face a big test against the Yankees this week. Depending on how he does—and continues to look in June and early July—the Orioles may not actually need a front-half rotation upgrade after all.

That won’t take them out of the pitching sweepstakes entirely, but it would diminish the need a bit. It could make the rental options more interesting and prevent them from getting desperate to add any other names with multiple years remaining.

The 2024 Orioles would be severely harmed if Bradish were to be lost for the duration of the season, much alone longer. However, it wouldn’t instantly end their hopes of winning the World Series. That is not how this team is designed to play. If they perceive a potential to significantly increase this particular team’s prospects of winning a championship, the front office is also too astute to let them wither away.

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