Orioles Hot Take Opinion: Baltimore Should Trade Zach Britton

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles have arguably the best bullpen in baseball in Zach Britton, the man who for all intents and purposes, was not only the best closer in 2016 but one of the best pitchers period.

And I think the Orioles should trade him.

Before you dismiss me as crazy, let me present my ideas.

Baltimore Orioles LHP Zach Britton to the San Francisco Giants for LHP Matt Moore and SS/2B Jalen Miller.

Could you imagine, Dan Duquette wakes up, see the Cubs-Giants score and calls the GM of the Giants. How could he say the Giants’ GM say no? The Giants would still have Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Cain in their rotation under contract.

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The Giants had 32 blown saves in 2016. Now, not all of those came in the 9th inning, but, they only saved 57 percent of games. That is awful.

Matt Moore went 6-5 in 12 starts with San Francisco in 2016 after being traded to the Giants from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he went 7-7 in 21 starts.

There is some risk here, as Moore’s WHIP was around 1.291 and an ERA above 4.

He also allowed 25 home runs in 2016 and did struggle in several starts against the Orioles. He did have Tommy John surgery in 2014. But, Moore has excelled in the AL East, going 17-4 as a 24-year-old.

He also is a left-handed starter, something the Orioles sorely need.

Also, parting with Miller, the Giants would part with another young SS from their organization but still keep their best SS prospect. Miller, 19, was a third-round pick in 2015 and is a guy with a lot of speed, and is still considered a top prospect, despite struggling in A Augusta this year.

Financially, Moore has team options for each of the next three years. He is due $7 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018, and $10 million in 2019.

As for trading Zach Britton. Yes, the Orioles would be trading arguably the best reliever they have ever had. But, his value could never, ever be higher.

Britton is arbitration-eligible again this year and is projected to get $11.4 million dollars in arbitration. That, while the team is paying fellow reliever Darren O’Day $7 million in 2017, and $9 million in both 2018 and 2019.

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So, yes this would save the team money. In the past, the Orioles refused to pay Jim Johnson around $10 million to be the team’s closer. Does this mean they won’t pay two players around $18.5 million to be the back end of the bullpen?

Brad Brach will probably get around $3 million in arbitration himself this year. Also, the Orioles have Mychal Givens who can transition to a 7th inning role and Donnie Hart who can serve as a specialist against lefties but also be exposed to facing all hitters.

This move would allow the team to transition both Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright into bullpen guys, where Wright could potentially exceed as a reliever with his fastball.

Just think of an Orioles’ rotation with Chris Tillman, Matt Moore, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and then someone of Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley or Yovani Gallardo.

Finally, Buck Showalter said during his year-ending press conference that there were some reasons, which he would not reveal, that he did not use Zach Britton in the Wild Card loss. Could it be that he already knew Dan Duquette is not willing to pay two relievers around $18.5 million?

Was Showalter trying to prove a point to Duquette by not using his closer, as to how it would affect his team in the future? As preposterous as this sounds, realize that Showalter has become quite the player’s manager while in Baltimore. He loves his guys, period.

If Dan Duquette is not going to keep Zach Britton around, he needs to trade him for starting pitching.

Next: Buck, Offense Hounded by Questions as Season Ends

Coming off the terrible year relief pitchers had for the Giants, my first offer would be to the other team in black and orange.

And I would do it and not look back.