With the July 30 trade deadline inching closer, the Baltimore Orioles' plans for how to improve their roster are becoming more clear.

It looks like their priority will be to trade for a starting pitcher who has multiple years of team control, according to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal on “Foul Territory.”

“They're going to trade for a starter, I'm pretty confident of that,” Rosenthal said. “They've got only three starters under control for next year that are currently in their rotation. It's Grayson Rodriguez, it's Dean Kremer and it's Cade Povich, the kid.”

Future of Orioles rotation uncertain

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Corbin Burnes (39) delivers in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
© Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Current American League Cy Young favorite Corbin Burnes is expected to hit free agency along with Albert Suarez and John Means, who is out for the season and expected to miss most of 2025 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June.

Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells are both out for the season and expected to miss most of 2025 after undergoing Tommy John surgery as well.

“They're going to need going into next season as many as three starting pitchers,” Rosenthal said. “You can't accomplish that all during free agency, or they don't want to anyway. They're going to need to trim their prospect pool a little bit to get the starter they need.”

While they would obviously like to re-sign Burnes, the injury concerns surrounding Bradish, Means and Wells make it even more important for the Orioles to try and add a pitcher who isn't just a half-season rental, but someone who can slot into their rotation going forward after this year.

One name Rosenthal mentions as a potential target for the Orioles is Chicago White Sox ace Garrett Crochet. Crochet is having an incredible season for the White Sox, leading the league with 146 strikeouts, 12.6 SO/9 and a 2.43 FIP to go with an impressive 3.08 ERA. Crochet also has two more seasons of team control, making him even more appealing to the Orioles. Crochet and Burnes would instantly form Major League Baseball's best starting pitching duo and would be a nightmare for opposing teams in the postseason.

The Orioles have the best record in the AL and the second-best record in all of baseball, sitting just one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies for that distinction. They have a young, star-studded lineup featuring All-Stars Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman and Jordan Westburg and the top farm system according to MLB Pipeline.

What the Orioles need to do now is use some of their elite prospects to improve their injured rotation. In what is believed to be a slow trade deadline due to a lack of true sellers and more teams than usual still in postseason contention, the Orioles have the ability to control the market because they have the best prospects.

Whether that means blowing the White Sox away with an offer for Crochet or going after someone else like Detroit Tigers starter Jack Flaherty, Texas Rangers starters Max Scherzer or Michael Lorenzen, or New York Mets starter Luis Severino, the Orioles are in prime position to add to their rotation in the coming weeks.