We care about the environment here at Connolly’s. We like to recycle.
So, let’s do this again. Let’s discuss what you would do with closer Zach Britton.
Yep, we’ve been here before.
But this week, with the general manager meetings going on – the GM meetings are the precursor to December’s winter meetings, so they are like the rumor appetizer before the rumor meal – one report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports suggested the Orioles are “said to be willing to at least listen” to trade offers for Britton.
Frankly, I’m not sure they ever said they wouldn’t listen. Executive vice president Dan Duquette, however, has said he didn’t want to trade Britton, one of baseball’s elite closers who will be a free agent after next season.
As a betting bartender, I think the Orioles hold onto Britton until they can better evaluate their chances next July. I’ve lost bets before, though.
Regardless, this issue isn’t going away. We have a whole lot of time between now and spring training (or July). So, we will revisit it again.
Here are my quick thoughts:
** I think the Orioles should have dealt Britton this time last year if they wanted to maximize his value. I wrote that last winter, so this isn’t a closed-barn-door-horse-is-out statement.
** Britton ended the season with a knee injury and lost a chunk of time with a forearm strain. He should be fine for next year, but teams may try to lowball the Orioles because of Britton’s health. To me, the Orioles don’t have to trade him. So, they should keep him unless they get a premium package. That’s what happened in July. The Houston Astros offered the best package. The Orioles ran it up the flagpole – and ultimately it was shot down as insufficient because the Astros did not include any of their three top prospects. (Incidentally, it’s been reported that owner Peter Angelos rejected it, but from what I’ve heard, there was at least one other top official not on board.)
** If the Orioles couldn’t get an acceptable package for Britton in July, I find it hard to believe they’ll get a better one now. So that makes me think they’ll either have to settle for less value or hold onto him and hope this team makes a run next season.
** The Orioles don’t have much of a surplus of anything to use as trade bait to land starting pitching possibilities. They do, however, have a deep bullpen. And an expensive one. Britton has one more shot at arbitration, and he is likely looking at roughly $13 million in 2018. Set-up man Brad Brach, also a free agent after next season, is slated for $5 million or more in arbitration. Add in Darren O’Day’s $9 million and that’s $27 million for three relievers. With the emergence of Mychal Givens, the Orioles may have to trade Britton or Brach if they can’t find starting pitching elsewhere.
OK, that’s it for me. It’s your turn now. Do you trade Britton? Has that ship passed?
Tap-In Question: Here we go again: What do you do with Britton?