The Baltimore Orioles are going to be sellers at the deadline, or at least they should be, and some of their best trade chips are in the bullpen.
The Baltimore Orioles are most likely going to be sellers at the trade deadline, and some of their best trade chips are in the bullpen.
Trade season is approaching. If you are like me, and I feel like most Baltimore Orioles fans at this point, that is a source of joy and dread. Happiness that the Orioles will hopefully move forward to build for the future. Dread that the franchise will screw it up and send the team back to the dark ages for another decade.
We know that Manny Machado and Adam Jones both could be on the move, and so could Mark Trumbo and Danny Valencia, if teams value their power. But, what about some of the bullpen pieces the Baltimore Orioles possess?
Where would these players fit in, and should the Orioles trade them?
First, a look at the relievers on the Orioles’ 40-man roster: Pedro Araujo (DL/Rule 5)
Richard Bleier (DL, out for season)
Mike Wright Jr.
Of the non-injured, only Donnie Hart is not on the Orioles active roster, and he is not a trade candidate.
The most likely reliever for the Baltimore Orioles to trade is the one they will get the most for, Zach Britton.
In only seven games, Britton has a 5.40 ERA with six hits allowed and four runs in 6.2 innings. Granted, all those runs scored in one game. Britton has also walked six batters, which is not good.
Look, it is impossible to expect Britton to return to 2016 form, when he should have won the Cy Young with his 0.54 ERA and 47 saves. Could he return to either 2014 or 2015, where he had ERAs of 1.65 and 1.92 respectively? Certainly.
The highest ERA Britton has had since he became a reliever was in 2017, when it was 2.89. That is still pretty good.
Add in that he is left-handed and doesn’t surrender a lot of home runs, and he has a ton of value, even in the last year of his contract.
The Red Sox are reportedly interested, which makes a ton of sense. Their bullpen has been pretty good, but it isn’t exactly on the caliber of the Yankees or Astros. They have Craig Kimbrel and then a host of others like Joe Kelly who aren’t who you want to use in a pressure situation.
Other contenders with pretty bad bullpens include Cleveland, Philadelphia and the St. Louis Cardinals. Britton would assuredly close on the Cardinals and Phillies, and for Cleveland, would rejoin former Oriole Andrew Miller (when healthy) to help anchor a bullpen that has been awful.
Chances he is traded: 85%