Before dealing with Orioles for first time, Astros’ Trey Mancini says he would ‘of course’ welcome return to Baltimore
In a Zoom name that adopted his choice to commerce longest-tenured Oriole Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros, govt vice chairman and normal supervisor Mike Elias ended his responses to 4 separate questions from reporters by referencing Mancini’s standing as a possible free agent and the likelihood that he might return to Baltimore this offseason.
On Friday, standing in entrance of his locker within the Astros’ Minute Maid Park clubhouse earlier than dealing with his former group for the primary time, Mancini stated he can be open to having that dialog.
“Yeah, of course I am,” Mancini instructed The Baltimore Sun after assembly with assembled media. “Yeah, I’m open to anything.”
His focus, although, is on serving to Houston, with one of the best file within the American League, proceed its push to the postseason, having homered six occasions in his first 18 video games along with his new membership. He stated he hasn’t even allowed himself to think about what the Astros’ late September go to to Camden Yards is likely to be like.
“I’ll let future me worry about that in a month,” he stated.
He’s taking the identical method to free company, ought to it come. This spring, the Orioles and Mancini prevented arbitration with an settlement that included a $10 million mutual option for 2023. The deal and its $250,000 buyout each relaxation with Houston.
“I haven’t given any thought to free agency at all,” Mancini stated. “That’s a bridge that I’ll cross when it gets there, but right now, there’s a lot to focus on here, so I don’t even want to get ahead of myself or think about that at all. I just want to be where my feet are right now and just try to help this team keep winning games.”
That consists of this three-game sequence towards Baltimore, which entered the weekend trailing the Seattle Mariners by 2 1/2 video games for the AL’s third wild-card spot. The Orioles have gone 14-8 because the commerce, with August representing their third straight profitable month after not having as soon as since August 2017 — Mancini’s rookie season.
After ending third in AL Rookie of the Year voting that yr, Mancini largely struggled in 2018 earlier than breaking the following season, incomes Most Valuable Oriole honors and narrowly lacking an All-Star choice.
The subsequent spring, Mancini felt sluggish earlier than a routine blood check revealed low iron ranges, finally resulting in a analysis of stage 3 colon most cancers. After the commerce, he credited the team’s training staff for “saving my life” for his or her assist in the invention.
He missed the 2020 season present process chemotherapy however returned in 2021 to earn a number of comeback participant of the yr honors and end because the runner-up within the All-Star Home Run Derby, which he noticed as a possibility to show what could be achieved after a cancer diagnosis.
He was grateful the 2022 season was rather more targeted on baseball than what he endured off the sphere, however with that got here continuous conversations about his standing as a commerce candidate. Even with the choice out there, Mancini typically famous how sometimes either side decide up mutual choices, successfully leaving him as a pending free agent.
Even with the Orioles ending July with a .500 file, that didn’t stop Elias from sending Mancini to Houston in a three-team commerce additionally involving the Tampa Bay Rays, getting pitching prospects Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott in return.
“Either way, I think it would have been nice, no matter what, just to have that [trade deadine] date pass,” Mancini instructed The Sun. ” But generally, a change of surroundings is usually a good factor, and it type of offers you somewhat jolt, adrenaline rush, to really feel like a rookie once more for a pair days, go to a brand new place and wish to carry out nicely for a brand new group of followers.
“I’ve really, really enjoyed my time here so far. Everybody has been really welcoming, and the guys on the team have been great. It’s a really fun group, and I’ve just really been enjoying myself.”
Mancini famous the commerce has “worked out for both of us so far.” His absence has opened alternatives for Orioles prospects Kyle Stowers, who delivered a game-tying home run in the ninth inning Thursday, and Terrin Vavra, whereas Mancini has had success in a extra offense-friendly atmosphere.
Thanks largely to Camden Yards’ new left field arrangement featuring a deeper and taller left field wall, no participant in baseball has a bigger deficit between his anticipated and precise variety of dwelling runs, in keeping with Baseball Savant, whilst Mancini has been in a position to capitalize on the shallow Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park.
“I’m sure he’s liking that left field wall a little bit more than ours,” stated Ryan Mountcastle, who break up first base with Mancini earlier than the commerce. “He’s obviously been a huge leader in the clubhouse for us, and me and him both playing first, I got to pick his brain about stuff all the time. And he’s a great guy, great teammate. He’s meant a lot to us, and shame he had to go, but I wish nothing but the best for him.”
Mountcastle’s presence at first base and assortment of different rising abilities seemingly make a reunion with Mancini an unlikely match from a baseball standpoint, even with Elias saying he expects Baltimore’s payroll to rise this offseason. Still, the Orioles’ collective appreciation for Mancini was clear throughout pregame batting apply, with a number of of his former teammates and coaches coming over to speak and provides him a hug.
“He made a huge difference with this organization and turning it around and being a big part of the culture of this team right now,” outfielder Austin Hays stated.
But that respect gained’t cease them from attempting to “do everything we can to get him out and make him have a tough night,” Hays stated with a chuckle, with Mancini noting he’s not wanting ahead to dealing with Baltimore’s bullpen arms. Manager Brandon Hyde stated he’s “always pulling for him except for these three days,” and Mancini echoed that feeling, saying it was good to see his pals, however he’s targeted on serving to the Astros beat them.
“He’s a very special part of the Orioles franchise,” stated Elias, visiting his former group as nicely this weekend in Houston. “It was an emotional thing trading him, but I think it was the right baseball move, and that’s why we did it, but I think for me, while I don’t want to see him go off on us this weekend when we’re trying to win these games, it means a lot for me that he’s in a team that’s such a good fit for him, and it’s a team that I know has good people on the staff and good players. It sounds like so far, it’s gone spectacularly, and I root for Trey every night.”
It’s attainable that applies for 162 video games once more quickly.
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