The Baltimore Orioles are proving their 2023 campaign wasn't a fluke by sporting an impressive 44-22 record. But if the Orioles want to surpass the New York Yankees to reclaim the AL East, some trades may have to be made.

General manager Mike Elias is well aware and has been devising a plan for how Baltimore will approach the MLB trade deadline. The Orioles are focusing on adding to their bullpen and are still interested in bringing in a right-handed outfielder. Furthermore, Elias is still debating on adding another pitcher to the rotation, via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

In terms of adding a starting pitcher, Elias is waiting to see what Baltimore's needs are. If the Orioles need pitching depth come trade deadline, Elias will be more involved in a trade. However, relief pitching and that right-handed outfielder remain a slight priority for now.

Still, the Orioles have already lost John Means and Tyler Wells to season-ending elbow injuries. The team has strong starters in Corbin Burnes, Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez. But with their eyes set on a deep playoff run, another addition to the rotation could be exactly what Baltimore needs.

Overall, it's clear that Elias and the Orioles have clear positional targets at the trade deadline. Baltimore is serious about competing and fixing the holes necessary to win.

Orioles' bullpen situation

Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (18) looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning at Tropicana Field.
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest blow the Orioles' bullpen came when closer Felix Bautista underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery before the season even began. They replaced him with Craig Kimbrel, who has been solid at times but has also spent stretches removed from the ninth inning role.

Baltimore has managed the ebbs and flows nicely, ranking fourth overall with a 3.24 bullpen. Players such as Jacob Webb (1.76 ERA), Yennier Cano (2.37) and Dillon Tate (2.70) have all stepped up nicely. Kimbrel has even lowered his ERA to 2.70 and hasn't blown a save since April 26.

Still, Kimbrel allowed an unearned run in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on June 5. But moreso than just one game, Baltimore knows just how important having a strong bullpen is. While the pieces are in place now, Elias wants to ensure the O's have an iron wall in the bullpen come playoff time.

One more bat for Orioles 

Bullpen seems like Baltimore's number one focus right now. Starting pitching could become a bigger priority depending how things shake out in the days leading up to the deadline. But for all their pitching wants and needs, the Orioles haven't forgotten about adding another bat to the lineup.

Veterans Anthony Santander and Cedric Mullins, as well as rookie Colton Cowser currently occupy the three outfield positions. All three have had varying levels of success, but they've all become key parts of the lineup. However, Cowser and Mullins are both left-handed hitters while Santander is a switch hitter. Austin Hays is the only right-handed hitter in the lineup.

The Orioles have been one of the best offensive teams in the league in 2024. Their 105 home runs lead MLB while their 340 runs scored ranks third. Still, adding another versatile bat to the mix only helps Baltimore optimize their lineup. Come playoff time, you want to ensure you have every advantage possible. Being able to toy around with the lineup would only make the O's stronger.

A lot can change before the trade deadline, both in needs and priority. But with the bullpen, an extra outfielder and perhaps another starting pitcher, the Orioles at least have a good idea on the types of players they want to acquire.