The Baltimore Orioles continue to play great baseball heading into the final month of the season, and have grown their lead in the American League East to nearly double digits. Now, their roster is set for the push to October.
Baltimore made a pair of trades prior to the September 1 waiver trade deadline to set their roster for the playoffs. The Orioles acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox on August 30 for minor league pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar. De Aza hit .243 with five home runs and drove in 31 runs in 122 games this season for the White Sox, who find themselves in last place in the A.L. Central. Blackmar went 10-1 with a 3.18 earned-run average in 26 games (18 starts) this season for the Frederick Keys, Baltimore’s high-A affiliate. In his last 10 starts with Frederick, he was 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA. Chalas, meanwhile, is being viewed as a relief pitching prospect.
Also on August 30, the Orioles acquired infielder Kelly Johnson from the last-place Boston Red Sox. The move came exactly a month after Johnson, who was on the disabled list at the time, was traded to the Red Sox from the Yankees.
The countdown of the magic number to clinch the division has begun for the Orioles. Their magic number, the combination of wins and losses by New York, was at 15 heading into the start of a six-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Boston.