Insider Reveals That Orioles Pursued 2 Huge Targets at Trade Deadline

The Baltimore Orioles continue to lead the way in the American League East Division, holding a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. But fans and observers were clamouring for the upstart surprise team to add some serious pitching at the trade deadline. And according to revelations today they nearly landed one or two of the top arms on the market in Max Scherzer and/or Justin Verlander. 

MLB Insider Jon Heyman writes "The Orioles bid on Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and were competitive on at least Verlander."

Alas, they came up short. There's no word if either pitcher put up a roadblock to stop a move to Maryland, or if the O's simply didn't match the offers from the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, respectively. 

Verlander, of course, has a history (and a World Series ring from last year) with the Astros, so he may have had a say in it. 

In the end, the O's managed to get Jack Flaherty from the St. Louis Cardinals instead. But this is not the Jack Flaherty of his previous Cy Young-contending days. This version has posted a 7.07 ERA since coming over to Baltimore, with a 1.57 WHIP. 

Baltimore is 8-6 since the deadline, still good enough to fend off the Rays for now, who continue to be ravaged by personnel issues — ace Shane McClanahan's season-ending Tommy John surgery, and shortstop Wander Franco's serious off-field troubles. 

Photo: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports