As the Baltimore Orioles are taking on the Boston Red Sox this evening at Camden Yards, they’re also very close to finalizing a trade involving closer Zach Britton. The deal has Britton going to the New York Yankees, in return for three prospects. As a disclaimer, as I write this the deal is not done. But it’s close.
Again, this is a fluid situation. But as I’m writing this it appears that the deal is Britton to New York in return for prospects Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers, and Cody Carroll. Tate is a RHP, and Rogers a LHP, and they have ERA’s of 3.38 and 3.95 at Double-A and Triple-A respectively. Carroll, a relief pitcher, has pitched to a 2.95 ERA in Triple-A.
None of these is a top ten prospect, however it’s a pretty legit return for a one-inning reliever – assuming that the deal is Britton for Tate, Rogers, and Carroll. Those are all fairly low ERA’s, which could translate into big league nuggets at some point along the way. Key word there is could…that’s the Orioles’ hope, at least.
I’ve said before that I personally feel that trading in the division is a bad idea. Granted Britton is a rental for New York because he’s a free agent, however the fact is that teams don’t make trades out of the goodness of their hearts towards their competitors. They make trades because they think they’re making their team better (either right now or in the future). Granted the Orioles are doing that also, but why help a division rival do that in the here and now?
But that aside, it does appear that they’re getting a decent haul for Britton if this materializes. Also keep in mind that Britton had achilles surgery seven months ago. If you told most fans that at the deadline the Birds would flip Britton for two potential future starters and a potential future reliever, I think most would take that.
Again folks, this is a fluid situation. As I write this Britton is still an Oriole, and sitting out in the Birds’ pen at that. Anything could happen – the deal could fall through, another team could offer a better deal, etc. So stay tuned!
UPDATE: The trade became official early this morning. Britton is on his way to Tampa to join the NY Yankees. Tate and Rogers were assigned to Double-A Bowie, and Carroll to Triple-A Norfolk.