Orioles Trade Rumors: Duquette gets approval to shop Smith, top relievers

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Zach Britton
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Zach Britton /

The Baltimore Orioles trade rumors took a step forward as Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette receives approval from Peter Angelos to explore trade options on a selection of Orioles relievers.

Baltimore Orioles trade rumors continue to progress as the second-half of the 2017 MLB season is underway.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Orioles owner has approved the request from vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to explore trade options for Zach Britton, Brad Brach, Darren O’Day, and Seth Smith with the MLB Trade Deadline date quickly approaching on July 31 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Rosenthal first reported Duquette’s intentions of trading the Orioles prime relievers and outfielder Smith via Facebook two days earlier on July 16. However, the report included a collection of players that are untradeable which included third baseman Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Mychal Givens.

In the MLB standings, the Orioles with a record of 44-49, sit seven games back from the first place Boston Red Sox, yet only four and a half games back from the final American League Wild Card spot. As a result, the Orioles seem willing to sell cautiously at the Trade Deadline without a complete overhaul of the roster.

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Baseball experts from around the country counted the Orioles out of playoff contention well before the All-Star break and according to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Orioles are calculated to win just 74 games this season and a five percent chance of reaching the postseason.

The trio of Britton, Brach, and O’Day from the Orioles bullpen will likely draw interest from new teams, but it’s doubtful the Orioles trade all three relievers. Britton is slowly returning back to 2016 form as he makes his way back to the closer role. More interesting, Britton is already making huge strides in his return from a forearm injury that cost him two months of the regular season. In April and May, Britton’s curveball clocked out at around 81 miles per hour and since his return, a much more potent curveball has emerged at 83 miles per hour in July.

Zach Britton’s 2017 Tabular data provided by Brooks Baseball:


Smith, however, should see his value skyrocket over the next couple of weeks if he keeps up his stellar play of late. In the month of July, Smith is hitting .297 with three home runs and six RBIs in 10 games including the go-ahead homer in the series opener against the Texas Rangers Monday night.

Duquette’s determination to buy or sell didn’t get any easier after the Orioles opened the second-half of the season getting swept at home by the Chicago Cubs. Nonetheless, the ambitious Orioles bounced back to win the first two games of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers including the resurgence of the Orioles offense.

Slugger Chris Davis turned in a monstrous game Tuesday night with two home runs consisting of a grand slam and matching a career-best six RBIs. Not only that, but the Orioles rotation delivered two straight quality starts.

Next: Rockies express interest in Gausman, Bundy as MLB Trade Deadlines nears

So now we have an idea on what players will be shopped over the next couple of weeks by Duquette, but will any of these rumored players actually be dealt at the MLB Trade Deadline? Is the recent two-game winning streak the start of something special in Birdland that suddenly transforms the Orioles into buyers at the end of July? Only time will tell.