I’ve been at the Tap Room all night and morning waiting for you. I’m trying to dry out – not from imbibing, but from sweating at Camden Yards.
You may not have noticed, but it gets humid in Baltimore in July.
This is probably where I should say the trade market is heating up for the Orioles, too. I’m not so sure that’s the case, though.
The Orioles will take their time as the next week-plus plays out before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
I don’t think two wins against Texas, to put the Orioles at 44-49, gives any false hope that this team is about to rattle off a bunch of victories and get right back into the AL Wild Card race.
This team still looks to be a seller at the deadline.
The real question is what does that “seller” tab mean?
Trading outfielder Seth Smith and maybe catcher Welington Castillo – if you can get someone willing to gamble on that $7 million player option next year — doesn’t turn around this farm system and put you in a position for success in the near future.
They might land the Orioles complementary pieces, but nothing that really moves the needle.
To do that, the Orioles have to deal away major pieces to get legitimate prospects back. And there are only four Orioles that fit into that category and are not under long-time team control: relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach, third baseman Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
I don’t believe the Orioles will deal the 25-year-old Machado, the club’s best player who is a free agent after 2018, or the 25-year-old Schoop, a free agent after 2019, this summer.
If I’m right, that leaves Brach, 31, and Britton, 29, as the main trade chips this month. Reliever Darren O’Day is 34, has dealt with injuries and has $20-plus million left on his contract. Teams certainly would take him, but if they are absorbing even part of that salary, the return won’t be particularly enticing. It would look more like a salary dump than a talent bump for the future.
National baseball writer Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that club owner Peter Angelos has given executive vice president Dan Duquette the green light to shop his top relievers (and Smith, obviously).
But getting the green light and actually approving the final deal are different things. It will all depend on what the offers are – and whether they can really improve this team soon – that will ultimately make the difference for Angelos and company.
Those offers haven’t been made. We won’t know the value for a while.
So, it’s difficult to say exactly whether the Orioles will deal Brach or Britton. It obviously will depend on the package offered in return.
But here’s my question: Would you trade them both this month?
Would you be OK putting the responsibilities of the back-end of the bullpen in Mychal Givens’ and O’Day’s hands and let both Britton and Brach go?
Obviously, if this season is basically done, closing games isn’t a major priority. But they both could be here next year under team control, so you’re weakening your bullpen in 2018, too.
So, would you do it? If the offers were right – and I’m assuming separate deals, no team has that kind of prospect depth – would you move them both now?
Tap-In Question: Would you trade Britton and Brach – not one or the other – this month?