Options need to be picked up within 5 days of the end of the World Series. So we'll know within two weeks what the decision is on Lyles. That's also when free agency begins. Trading opens up the day after the series ends.
I don't think the Lyles decision will be particularly indicative of the rest of their plans. But I am interested to see what they do.
If the Orioles were going to pick it up to use him, they already could have. There's no coy play here. There's no new information between now and the deadline to pick it up. It doesn't matter what Lyles does or doesn't understand. Nothin else will be accomplished or even understood by the time you have to make a decision that would impact that decision.
So if they aren't saying yes, they are in fact, saying no.
While I understand the point that you can pick up the option, do everything else and if he becomes extra, trade him (or even release him), I can't think of a team that actually does that so that's not an expectation for the Orioles under any condition.
The only thing that could make any sense is if you had another team that was modestly interested in Lyles (even as an over-pay for one year) and you needed to wait for (as Mackus just said), the 'trade season' and you wanted to thread that needle (it's a multi-day window, not actually that hard) then that's maybe a thing.
If you wanted to try and connect a couple dots, if I was Nick Krall, I would want Lyles. I could have four 0-year pitchers in my rotation (Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson) and I really need a guy that can teach them to be a professional and Lyles has gotten some public credit for that with the Orioles staff in 2022 (I can't speak for his longer previous reputation).
Why do the Orioles collect two meaningless waivered catchers from the Reds for 40 days before they get released again?....you want to talk to them about upper level players in the Reds system (ie, guys they would have played with/caught/seen) for insight into a modest trade.