This is TLDR, so just skip to the bolded for the cliff notes version below...
You fight from the foxhole you're in. I've mentioned this generically before but if I got to make one trade today, I'd look at Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner is owed 37M over the next 2 years and honestly he hasn't been that good since he went to AZ. I don't know why that is. HIs struggles have coincided with a change in teams. Whatever it is, he used to be one of the dominant pitchers in the sport. Now he's not. Many want to sign Justin Verlander, but there was a time in 2017 where many thought Justin Verlander was done at 34. MadBum is 33.
It's funny how we'll all joke about investment advise and say "buy low, sell high" as if that's hyper-obvious, but we typically find ourselves in the baseball arena avoiding low and buying high. Everyone wanted to bribe Verlander with 45M AAV and he's now 40.
The Orioles have also, understandably, been looking for a LHed 1B/DH type. You have a numbers game with the current roster (we'll solve that in a minute) but an option for that could be AZ 1B/DH/OF Pavin Smith. Smith was the 1-7 pick in the 2017 draft and is from FL and went to UVA. He hasn't really developed significantly in AZ and given their roster, they've moved him around in to the OF. He has a year+ (1.149) of service and will qualify for Super 2 in 2024. He's struggled against LHers (.608 OPS) so he's more of a versatile 1B/DH left-handed bat. Kind of a left-handed Mancini.
Orioles get: Mason Saunders and Pavin Smith
I think the MLB Trade Sim is fun, but generally wrong, but I still put things into it, just to see what it says. It has those 2 guys at -33. Basically is views MadBum as an underwater contract. Smith is 0.
I'm replacing a starter and my #5 is Kremer, so I put Kremer in the deal. AZ could also use a 3B prospect to pair with Jordan Lawler on the left side so I'm including Westburg too (that sets up Norby for 2024 at 2B).
Westburg and Kremer for Bumgarner and Smith is way under-water for the Orioles. Like Lawler or Corbin Carroll underwater. They aren't trading any of those guys to offset anything because they don't need to. Orioles are more concerned about cost-risk anyway so let's take 25M on Bumgarner, the DBacks CompB pick and 2 guys outside their top 20 like LHP Nate Savino and RHP Conor Grammes.
BAL gets: MadBum, Smith, 25M, CompB (2-64), Savino and Grammes
AZ gets: Kremer and Westburg
Couple more things (more TLDR).
1) MadBum is the only lefty in the AZ rotation and they still have a ridiculous surplus of OFers so they make a trade with the Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers for CF Alek Thomas. That is a couple guys with good profiles that have under-performed some but are both still young and meet the needs of the respective teams better. Miami gets a true (young) CF and deals from their stable of pitching depth.
2) It wouldn't be an under-water cost trade from me without a contract restructure. I don't know MadBum, but it's interesting to me that his ranch is actually in Lenoir, NC (with his in-laws). He's from just south of Lenoir, in Hudson so it's likely both their families are from (and currently) there.. The horse ranch he owns in AZ is likely a product of his time in SF. You can move the horses to the East Coast. Rope anywhere in the offseason. He just may like the move to the East Coast to finish his career.
I'd look to add 1/13 to his contract. That takes it from 2/37 to 3/50. Structure is 15/15/15 with a 5M buyout on a 2/35 team option. The 25M that AZ contributes covers 15M in 2023 (so Orioles cost is $0) and 5M in 2024 and 2025 so from the Orioles perspective, the costs are 0/10/10/5 (2/35 team option).
MadBum gets to finish his career on the East Coast, lead a young staff, pitch into that LF canyon with a young defensive team behind him and you are committing to him leading a young staff. His wife would likely be psyched by the idea and if he's from NC, he may even have grown up an Orioles or Braves fan (ok, probably Yankees).
You don't have to do this, but you want to buy into the turn-around (imagine getting a 2/35 option with a Verlander trade when he was scuffling in 2017).
3) While I'm a fan of Stowers, he's a poor fit if Cowser is my next LFer so I'll follow-up something with a second trade. I mentioned this in the Hosmer thread, but will expand here.
DET gets: Stowers and Urias
BAL gets: Schoop (1/7.5)
Again, the Orioles are WELL underwater on this so we need some compensation....Orioles get prospects C Dillon Dingler and RHP Tyler Mattison, their CompA (1-37) and 4M on Schoop.
DET gets: Stowers and Urias
BAL gets: Schoop, Dingler, Mattison, CompA and 4M
Could be something of a homecoming for Jon and honestly, I'd love to form a bench over the next couple years with Frazier and Schoop.
traded Westburg, Stowers, Kremer, Urias
added MadBum, Smith, Schoop, future b/u C, 3 bullpen arms, 2 draft picks and no short term cost risk
Hays goes to LF, Santander to RF, Smith 1B/DH platoon with McCann and MadBum vs Kremer.