Earlier this week we heard that the Baltimore Orioles were seeing that the trade market around closer Zach Britton wasn’t exactly forming up the way that the Birds thought it would. Translated, that means the Orioles aren’t getting the offers they feel Britton’s worth. So the question at hand is what do the Orioles do – lower the price or stand firm?
First off, how do I know that teams aren’t offering up with Dan Duquette wants in return? Am I privy to those conversations? Of course not. But…is it possible that teams truly just aren’t interested? Sure, I suppose it’s always possible. But…
…Britton’s saved 55 straight games. There’s no question that he’s the best closer in baseball right now, and has been for the past 2-3 years. Are you really telling me that there’s no market for this guy? There’s nobody out there that’s interested? Now really, does that make sense?!
I didn’t think so. Thus, teams are trying to play hardball with the Orioles. There might also be one other factor at play. In the past week two major starters in the NL have gone on the DL in Strasburg and Kershaw. The L.A. Dodgers were one of the teams that were heavy into Britton. It’s possible that their needs have now changed, as perhaps they look to pick up an additional starter as well.
However that aside, the question is whether or not the Orioles are actually the ones being unreasonable. Keep in mind that the trade deadline is Monday at 4 PM. So there will be a flurry of activity this weekend, as well as Monday.
Without actually knowing, odds are that the negotiations with teams is going as follows: Duquette’s asking for ABC and telling teams that Britton’s the best closer in baseball, 55 straight saves, etc. Teams are saying we don’t want to give anything more up than CBA for a guy who only pitches one inning. And in fact that could be a somwhat fair point – for a pedestrian closer, that is.
A lot of fans have told me that you get whatever you can get for players. So in theory that means that you yourself are undervaluing your players if you take that view. This sounds a bit out there, but what if the best you can do is a low level single-A prospect? Are you really willing to trade the best closer in baseball for that?
Teams are going to try to get your players for as cheaply as they can. It’s up to you to make sure that they aren’t getting undervalued. Again, I say that it doesn’t pay for the Orioles to trade Britton or anyone if they aren’t getting a haul in return.