Baltimore Orioles: Mychal Givens Expected to be in ‘Great Demand’ at Winter Meetings

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04: Mychal Givens
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04: Mychal Givens /

Baltimore Orioles reliever Mychal Givens is expected to be in high demand at this year’s Winter Meetings, but should the Orioles deal him?

Baltimore Orioles reliever Mychal Givens is expected to be in “great demand” at this year’s Winter Meetings, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

In his piece, Cafardo outlined the priorities of each team in the AL East at the Winter Meetings, and mentioned a couple things specifically: first, that the Baltimore Orioles would likely trade closer Zach Britton for a top starting pitcher, and that Givens would be in high demand.

It’s not surprising that the Baltimore Orioles would consider trading Britton. They need starting pitching and their bullpen is essentially their only position from which they have some excess they could work with.

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The Orioles do have some prospects they could deal, but as Cafardo notes, free agency might be the best way for them to go this offseason. So far this offseason, the Orioles have made some minor moves without making too big of a splash. They’ve signed a handful of free agents to minor league deals and made a minor trade with the Oakland Athletics.

But while their AL East rivals are making or looking to make major moves (like the New York Yankees trading for Giancarlo Stanton or the Boston Red Sox’s interest in J.D. Martinez), the Baltimore Orioles have remained relatively quiet.

We know they’re fielding calls on Manny Machado, who’s a free agent after this year and is likely to command a huge contract that the Orioles may not be able to afford, but moving Givens might be something they could do to help strengthen the team a bit.

Back in July, shortly before the MLB Trade Deadline, the Orioles had said they were willing to trade essentially everything except for three players: Machado, Adam Jones, and Givens. One of the reasons Givens was untouchable at the time was his contract. He’s under team control next year and has three years of arbitration left before becoming a free agent.

Givens has been an excellent reliever the past couple seasons. Last year, he pitched to a 2.75 ERA with a 10.07 K/9 and a 1.04 WHIP. He looks like he could be a pretty solid closer in the major leagues, which could garner a good return given the premium placed on closers in the league now.

However, it wouldn’t be shocking for the Orioles to move Britton and potentially Brad Brach as closer options for another team and keep Givens as their closer while he’s under contract. At the same time though, given his skill and contract, he could fetch a nice return.

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It depends on how committed the Baltimore Orioles’ front office is on rebuilding this team. If they’re in full rebuild mode, then trading off Britton, Brach, Machado, and essentially all of their value pieces whose contracts are expiring to get prospects makes a lot of sense. Adding Givens to that pool could just increase the haul they could get.