Trade Central: Astros Acquire Trey Mancini In Three-Team Deal With Orioles, Rays
Three games out of a playoff spot, the Orioles chose to tear down instead of build on their competitive present.
The Orioles traded designated hitter Trey Mancini to the Astros on Monday in a three-team deal that also included the Rays. The Orioles received righthanded pitching prospect Seth Johnson from the Rays and righthanded pitching prospect Chayce McDermott from the Astros in the deal; the Astros received Mancini and Rays righthanded pitching prospect Jayden Murray; and the Rays received outfielder Jose Siri from the Astros.
Mancini entered the day as the Orioles team leader with a .347 on-base percentage and ranked second on the team with a 114 OPS+. He was the O’s No. 2 hitter in the lineup most of the year but primarily hit third in recent days.
Seth Johnson, RHP
Johnson has been one of the Rays’ most promising pitching prospects for several years, although he’s been a slow-developing prospect. A college shortstop who moved to the mound for his draft year in 2019, he has yet to pitch in Double-A. He showed signs of putting it all together early this year before going down with an elbow injury in late May that required Tommy John surgery. Johnson’s high-90s fastball is a plus pitch with excellent life and the kind of flat-planed approach that helps it get above hitters’ bats. His slider has long shown some promise, but is still less consistent than it needs to be. He’ll need to further develop his changeup if he’s going to remain a starter. Johnson will miss the rest of the season and likely all of next year recovering from surgery. He has a chance to become one of the Orioles’ best pitching prospects, but the O’s will have to be patient. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Chayce McDermott, RHP
A fourth-round pick out of Ball State last year, McDermott had Tommy John surgery in college and missed another season with an additional injury, but he’s shown good stuff when he’s been on the mound. He gets swings and misses with an above-average fastball that sits 93-94 mph and touches 98 and complements it with two potentially above-average breaking balls. His 12-to-6 curveball and and tilting slider both get chase swings out of the strike zone. He also has a mid-80s changeup that is a distant fourth pitch in his arsenal because he lacks feel for it. McDermott’s main issue is control. He struggles to command his fastball or land his curveball in the strike zone in particular, leading to well below-average control overall. He has averaged 5.4 walks per nine innings in his full-season debut at High-A Asheville this season, contributing heavily to a 5.50 ERA. McDermott’s stuff and prototypical pitcher’s frame lead to some projections he could be a decent back-of-the-rotation starter down the road, but he’ll have to improve his control and execution significantly to get there.
Trey Mancini, 1B/OF
Mancini is more than just a feel-good story as a cancer survivor and a clubhouse favorite—he’s still a potent offensive threat. Mancini hit .268/.347/.404 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs in 92 games this year, ranking among the team leaders in every category and helping fuel the Orioles surge back to respectability. His hard-hit rate, barrel rate, average exit velocity and maximum exit velocity are all well above league average, and his expected numbers—especially his slugging percentage—are higher than his actual numbers, suggesting he’s been the victim of bad luck this year. Mancini is mostly limited to first base and DH duty, but he can occasionally pop out to right field as needed. Astros first basemen have hit just .224/.275/.364 this year, the third-lowest OPS in the majors, so Mancini represents a significant upgrade for the club. He is signed through this season and has a mutual option for $10 million in 2023.
Jayden Murray, RHP
The Rays signed Murray for just $3,000 as a 23rd-round pick out of Dixie State (Utah) in 2019. He has had success at almost every step up the ladder for the Rays so far, consistently demonstrating plus control and succeeding by mixing his pitches well. Murray’s arsenal consists of an above-average, 92-95 mph fastball, an average, sweepy, low-80s slider and a fringe-average 85-88 mph changeup. All of his pitches play up because he throws an above-average amount of strikes. Nothing Murray throws is a true swing-and-miss weapon, and he fits better as a starter than as a reliever because his plus control isn’t as important in a shorter relief role. He will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason if he’s going to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.
Trey Mancini Presents Trade Deadline Dilemma For Baltimore Orioles
Trey Mancini is as valuable as ever, presenting a conundrum for an Orioles organization years away from contention.
Jose Siri, OF
Siri has long tantalized with his tools. He’s a plus defender in center field, has plus-plus speed and owns a plus arm that makes runners think twice before trying to advance. Siri is overly aggressive as a hitter and gets anxious in the batter’s box, however, making him a nearly bottom-of-the-scale hitter who doesn’t make enough contact to play every day. He hit .178 with a 33% strikeout rate in his first extended big league time this year before being demoted to Triple-A. Siri gives the Rays a temporary fix in center field with Kevin Kiermaier out for the year and Manuel Margot on the 60-day injured list with a right knee sprain. He’ll team with Roman Quinn to try and give the Rays some cover at the position.