It was a somewhat curious move when the Tampa Bay Rays shipped infielder Tim Beckham to American League East rival Baltimore Orioles.

For one thing, the trade deadline transaction came as the teams were within a couple games of each other in the standings and just outside of the second wild card berth.

Beyond the standings, there was the return. The Rays got an 18-year-old starting pitcher, Tobias Myers, drafted in the sixth round in 2016. Some fans bemoaned this, continually pointing to Beckham’s former claim-to-fame of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. That was 10 years ago and the infielder is a career .258 hitter who is just now on track to play 100 games in the same Major League Baseball season.

Whether the trade was a positive or negative will play itself out over time. As of right now, Beckham’s making himself at home in orange and black. He’s taken over at shortstop for the oft-injured J.J. Hardy and injected a little extra pop into the Orioles lineup.

Entering Sunday’s matinee against the Detroit Tigers, Beckham’s batting .650 (13-for-20) with three home runs, three doubles, a triple, five runs batted in and six runs scored in his first five games with Baltimore. As nice as the 1.350 slugging percentage and 2.000 on-base-plus-slugging percentage look, it’s a safe bet those stats will be coming back down to earth shortly.

If Beckham does keep producing, the Orioles will have a similar decision to make in their infield by mid-August. Hardy is eligible to return Aug. 18 and manager Buck Showalter has told the media that the 34-year-old will be plugged back in at shortstop. If that’s the case, Beckham won’t be able to just slide over to second base (Jonathan Schoop) or third base (Manny Machado).

Eric Horchy is a staff writer with OutsidePitchMLB.com. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter: @EricHorchy

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