The Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, thanks to aggressive selling stances at the non-waiver trade deadline, will be devoid of some of the benchmark players with whom they began the season when the two teams square off Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, in the opener of a four-game series.
Baltimore will send right-hander Andrew Cashner (3-9, 4.33 ERA) to the mound Thursday to oppose Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-1, 6.26).
Gone for the Orioles are infielders Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, relief pitchers Zach Britton and Darren O'Day and starter Kevin Gausman. Texas sent Opening Day starter Cole Hamels packing, along with closer Keone Kela and left-hander relief specialist Jake Diekman.
But still with the Rangers is third baseman Adrian Beltre, who said Tuesday before Texas' 6-0 loss at Arizona that he's relieved to stay put.
"I'm fine with it," Beltre said of staying in Texas. "Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a lot of thinking, a lot of expectations, wait and see. Today was a busy morning. But I'm relieved to know that I am going to be here for who knows how long."
For a trade to happen and for Beltre to waive his 10-and-5 veto rights, the interest had to come from a team that was in first place or close to it with a real chance of winning the World Series. That, and other factors, never came together over the past few weeks.
"I'm not going to demand to be traded," Beltre said. "It's not fair to everybody. I have been here eight years -- they gave me the chance to win in six of those years. The fans have been great to me. I don't want to be selfish."
Beltre is undecided if he'll play next season. But if he does, he has said his preference is to be with the Rangers even though it might be another losing season.
Baltimore, which is mired in last place in the American League East with the worst record in baseball at 32-75, heads to the Texas heat on the heels of a 7-5 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx.
It was Baltimore's fourth win in its past five games.
"I'm sure that we've turned the page a little since All-Star break," said the Orioles' Trey Mancini, who had three hits including a solo homer in Wednesday's win. "I just notice a difference in kind of energy, and we're all just starting to hit and play as a team a lot better. I don't know what the reason is, but it's been pretty fun."
Cashner pitched well in Friday's victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, surrendering two runs on five hits over six strong innings. It marked his first win at Camden Yards this season. He's 1-0 with 11 strikeouts over his past three starts.
Gallardo will make his 11th appearance and his eighth start of the season in Thursday's homestand opener against the Orioles. He spent the 2016 season with O's, going 6-8, 5.42 in 23 games in his lone campaign in Baltimore.
Gallardo has earned wins in two straight starts, posting 11 1/3 shutout innings in those outings to drop his season ERA from 8.60 to 6.26. He is 1-1, with a 5.94 ERA in three career games (all starts) against the Orioles.