Multiple outlets have reported that teams have contacted the Baltimore Orioles about trading for closer Zach Britton. And in general it’s not all that surprising given Britton’s track record, and the need for a quality back end of the rotation guy. But should the Orioles pull the trigger?
This might surprise you, but I say a resounding YES – if the deal is good. And I’ll get to that part in a moment. The Orioles have a pretty decent bullpen without Britton. While they’re better with him, the fact is that the ‘pen is strong one way or the other. Now I’m on record as saying that the Orioles shouldn’t sell, and I still believe that. I’m just saying that Britton might be worth just as much on the trade market as he is on the roster at the moment.
So let me once again say that I feel it would be a mistake to bust up the likes of Machado, Schoop, Jones, etc. – and Britton. But the Orioles could potentially deal Britton, and get some sort of return that would be worth their while. And that HAS to be the key in any trade; it has to be worth the seller’s while.
So what would be worth the while of the Orioles? If it were me, I’d want a veteran guy who could in theory slide into a setup-type role, which is where we currently find Brad Brach. That would allow Brach to become the new closer full time. So…is that is?
No, of course not. That trade would be heavily slanted in favor of the buyer. In my view the O’s would also have to get a fairly decent starting pitching prospect back as well. And I’m not talking someone that might be in a team’s pipeline – in single-A or so. I mean a guy who’s probably been banging the door down at triple-A to come to the majors.
Some people are going to say that the Orioles couldn’t expect that much in return. Is that so? Did the ChiSox not just get four hot prospects for a starting pitcher from their cross-town rival? Granted that’s a starter, but keep in mind that I adjusted the sheer mass numbers down given the fact that we’re talking about a closer.
And that’s all part of the tap dance regarding trades. The Orioles have always said that they aren’t going to allow other teams to de-value their players. Heck, why not even see if you can’t get more than that. Maybe see if you can’t strong-arm a hitting prospect as well.
Again folks, if you’re going to make a trade it has to be worth your while. If you aren’t willing to negotiate the right deal, don’t make the trade.