Baltimore Orioles: Deal from a position of strength?

There’s a school of thought out there which says that the Baltimore Orioles should consider dealing closer Zach Britton. So let me preface this by saying that I think that’s one of the most ridiculous ideas that anyone could have. When you have a closer that just finished the season 47 out of 47 in save attepts, your goal should be to keep him on your roster – not deal him.

However the flip side of the coin is that Britton would potentially net a nice return for the Orioles. A closer of that caliber doesn’t come around everyday – which is why he’d bring them a good return. Or would he?

For the record, Dan Duquette is on record as saying that he’s not dealing Britton. One of the Orioles’ biggest strength is their bullpen. While guys such as Brach or Givens may well do fine in the closer’s role, weakening the ‘pen by dealing it’s marquee member is a bad idea.

Furthermore, I’m not sure that other teams would be as willing to play ball with the Orioles on Britton as some might think. As I said above, Britton would potentially net the Orioles a nice reutrn. Nothing is gauranteed in life, as we know. Every team, including the Orioles, is going to try to get as much as they can out of a trade while giving up as little as possible.

Teams would know that the reason Dan Duquette would be shopping Britton is because he thinks he can find an everyday right fielder or DH. Are we truly to believe that teams aren’t going to balk at dumping an everyday player for a guy that pithes one inning?

Granted Britton only pitches one inning a game. However right now there’s nobody better than he in the game at what he does. And we knew that before he had  a perfect season. But the fact remains that he’s a one inning guy.

I could see another team leveraging the fact that they’d only be getting perhaps 4-5 innings a week out of Britton (best case scenario) by trying to get away with offering the Orioles less. For a guy like Britton, one would expect big leauge ready talent. In fact, one would expect someone with big league experience – and at a high level at that. Whether or not another team would view it the same way would remain to be seen.

The good news is that Dan Duquette isn’t going to deal Britton away for peanuts. In fact, if his comments are to be believed he isn’t going to deal him away at all. Howver the point is that other teams will often give the impression of undervaluing your players just so they can get them cheaply. But again, I don’t see Britton going anywhere anytime soon.


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