One of the biggest names on the radar for today’s trade deadline in Baltimore Orioles star closer Zach Britton. The Orioles have been fielding interest on Britton from numerous contenders, including the Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and others. While they seem motivated to make a deal, there is no guarantee that a deal will be completed with anyone at this point in juncture. However, the Orioles, knowing that the ship has possibly sailed this season and beyond, should make every attempt to strike a deal.
Here are my three reasons on why the Orioles should trade Britton:
3. Restock The Farm System
Last July, the New York Yankees got eight players when they traded standout left-handed relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, respectively. Three of those players have already played in the majors, and if the Orioles got a similar haul for Britton, who has another year under club control, the incoming players could help them contend in future years. Two of the teams rumored to be Britton suitors, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, have two of the strongest farm systems in baseball.
2. Brad Brach and Mychal Givens
During Britton’s two stints on the disabled list this season, right-hander Brad Brach filled in. While Brach has failed to convert on four of his 20 save opportunities, as many as Britton has blown since the beginning of the 2015 season, he could replace Britton as the closer if he’s not traded himself. Mychal Givens, who is 17-2 with a 2.50 ERA in three seasons with the Orioles, also could move into the closer role.
The right hander won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after next season and is under team control through 2021. With Givens and left-hander Donnie Hart, the Orioles have shown they can develop relievers, and they have another left-hander at Double-A Bowie, Tanner Scott, they think highly of.
1. The Money May Not Be Right
Two years ago, the Orioles re-signed Darren O’Day for four years and $31 million, and since then, he’s been on the disabled list three times. In O’Day’s first four years in Baltimore (2012-2015), he had a 2.05 ERA and pitched in at least 68 games a season. In 2016 and 2017 combined, O’Day has appeared in 71 games with a 4.25 ERA. While O’Day was 33 when he signed the contract, which runs through 2019, and Britton won’t be 30 until December, it may give the Orioles pause before offering a long-term contract to another reliever.