Orioles Infielder Garnering Plenty Of Trade Interest

With all of the big-name star shortstops now off the market, teams have turned their attention to the trade market for help at the keystone. The Baltimore Orioles have been taking calls on shortstop Jorge Mateo. And it began, according to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal, immediately after the last big SS free agent, Dansby Swanson, signed.

Mateo, entering his age 28 season, might be an affordable and potentially attractive fit for interested clubs, a player whose value as an athletic defender and stolen-base threat should only increase as the league introduces shift restrictions, larger bases and pickoff rules in 2023.

Teams who are searching for help at short include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox—all teams who lost their star shortstops this offseason.

Mateo flashed some power and plenty of speed in 2022, stealing an AL-leading 35 bases and adding 13 home runs. Overall, his offensive production is a bit of a negative however, as his .221 average and OPS+ of 81 are well below average. 

But he does provide elite defense at the keystone. He led all American League shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved (14), and Outs Above Average (11). 

The Orioles are stacked in the infield, with Gold Glover Ramón Urías, exciting young prospect Gunnar Henderson and free agent addition Adam Frazier. There's room for them to make a deal for the right offer.

Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports