Results tagged ‘ Zach Britton ’

Baltimore Orioles trade Valera, Zach Britton to NY

Former Baltimore Orioles’ closer Zach Britton is headed back to the Bronx. New York resigned him reportedly last night to a three-year deal worth (a reported) $39 million. Britton of course was traded from the O’s to New York last season. So in a sense he’s returning to the Bronx.

While Britton wasn’t as effective with New York as he was with the Orioles, this means that Orioles fans will be seeing a guy that they consider one of their own playing against them consistently in the division. Time will tell how that turns out.

There is one quirk about the reported deal for Britton. It’s a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth year. However the team has to pick up that club option after year two, otherwise Britton can opt out – after year three.

The Orioles also completes a trade. On Friday they DFA’d Breyvic Valera off the roster. Yesterday they traded him to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations. Not much to see here, just a low-level trade from one team to another. Obviously Valera didn’t figure into GM Mike Elias’ plans moving forward.

Baltimore Orioles must always get the proper value

First and foremost, numerous outlets have reported that Baltimore Orioles’ closer Zach Britton‘s achilles surgery was successful yesterday. Now begins the tough part: rehab. The Orioles are hoping that Britton might be back before the trade deadline, but obviously at this point it’s tough to say.

The O’s have been getting lambasted by fans and local media the past few days for what’s interpreted as having botched trades. They had a trade involving Britton last year, and the medicals on one of the players the O’s were to have received came back suspect. Britton stayed with the Orioles obviously, and now thanks to a freak accident he’s on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

There were several deals out there for Manny Machado during the winter meetings last week. The Orioles didn’t like any of them, as they’re looking for two starting pitching prospects in return. Fans see this as just more of the same. The O’s are being greedy and unrealistic.

Maybe they are, for all we know. But the Britton injury can’t be allowed to convince them that staying the course is a bad idea. Unfortunately these things do happen. They shouldn’t, but they do. The Orioles have assets that other teams covet – such as the Machado’s of the world. Why should they sell low?

I’ve had people tell me that they should have gotten whatever they could for Britton, and that they should do the same with Machado. And of course people in that camp can point to this Britton injury as evidence that they’re right. Okay, so if someone offered a low-A prospect, should the Orioles have taken it?

The way forward is either with Machado (and Britton) on the roster this year, OR with prospects that equal or better their value. That’s the only way forward, because if you don’t value your own pieces, you can’t expect other teams to do so.

Baltimore Orioles lose Zach Britton

There’s bad luck, and then there’s bad luck Baltimore Orioles style. The organization found out late Tuesday night that they had lost the services of closer Zach Britton – at least for the first half of the 2018 season. Britton ruptured his right achilles tendon while working out in California. The injury will require surgery, and he’s expected to miss six months.

This is a really difficult pill to swallow for the Orioles, who almost traded Britton to Houston last year. Ironically, the trade was nixed because the O’s didn’t like the medicals on the players they were to receive. However regardless of anything else, Britton’s out for the foreseeable future.

There’s nothing worse for any team in any sport than to have an injury of that magnitude occur to a player during the off season. Let’s be clear, however; this wasn’t a non-baseball related injury that happened because the guy was horsing around. He was working out, getting ready for the season (and at his agent, Scott Boras’ training center no less). But the fact is that it happened outside of the parameters of the season, and that’s tough to fathom.

This would in theory mean that the Orioles couldn’t move Britton at the deadline, because who’s going to give up anything of value for a guy coming off of achilles surgery? Britton is of course in the final year of his contract, and would have brought some dividends for the Orioles at the deadline – if not before.

Baltimore Orioles should consider trading Zach Britton

There have been numerous reports over the past 24 hours that the Baltimore Orioles are once again shopping closer Zach Britton. Count me as thinking that at the very leas tthey should consider trading him. For the right deal, that is.

Apparently the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs are at least two of the teams who are interested. However regardless of who’s interested or not, the deal still has to be right for the Orioles to consider parting with a commodity like Britton. In other words, they need to fleece someone.

In the past I’ve used the term gut someone’s farm system. I’m not saying that here, because that would be above and beyond fleecing someone. I mean if you can get away with gutting someone’s farm system, go for it. But odds are you won’t. Not for a guy who pitches one inning, is in the final year of his contract, and went to the DL twice in 2017.

However dealing Britton could well help the Orioles to warm themselves over for 2018. I would say that the Birds should look for at least one top pitching prospect for someone of Britton’s caliber. Again, some will say I’m over-valuing Britton. But what did I say above? The deal has to be right.

If you can get a pitching prospect who’s either ready or close to being ready to go to the big leagues, do it. The Orioles are a team who needs pitching, and desperately at that. This would not only be a way to get some, but also a cheap way to do it.

Furthermore, while last year the bullpen was overused and thus broke down, we know the strength of the Oriole bullpen. I think the likes of Brach would slide into the closer’s role just fine. Losing Britton would be a loss for sure, but the bullpen would still be strong. And perhaps the starting rotation would get stronger as well.

Baltimore Orioles keep Zach Britton, acquire Tim Beckham

Zach Britton wasn’t traded by the Baltimore Orioles today as the trade deadline came and went. The rumors were out there, as were the suitors – Cleveland, Houston, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were all rumored to be interested in Britton. As apparently were the Washington Nationals, however according to one national writer the O’s wanted double from D.C. what they would have hoped to get from anyone else.

With that said, did the Orioles make a mistake? Los Angeles settled on Pittsburgh’s Tony Watson as opposed to Britton, as an example. No doubt that the price on Watson was lower than it would have been on Britton – and the O’s were intent on the idea of getting a haul for Britton. But again, was that a mistake?

I still say no. If you’re going to trade someone away, you’d better get what he’s worth. The Orioles are 100% right in keeping a guy as good and as talented as Britton, if they weren’t getting the right deal. That’s what a lot of fans can’t quite grasp. You can’t allow other teams to de-value your players. To their credit, the O’s didn’t do that.

This isn’t to say that they didn’t make a move this afternoon, however. They acquired infielder Tim Beckham from the Tampa Rays in exchange for a minor league pitcher. Beckham, 27, is hitting .259 on the year, and can play both second base and shortstop. If twitter is any indicator, this is not a popular move. Needless to say, it does make one scratch their head.

However all they gave up was minor league pitcher Tobias Myers (formerly of Aberdeen), and this is also an upgrade in the infield in the absence of Hardy. Is it the ideal and perfect move? No. However it does give the Orioles some added depth in the infield. Furthermore Beckham could in theory be the Orioles’ shortstop of the future. He’s under team control until 2020.

So there you have it – the Orioles at the trade deadline. The Britton non-move was spot on if they weren’t going to get what they wanted in return. And the Beckham move is somewhat interesting in a sense, however we’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings. But for now, the O’s have a game to play against Kansas City tonight, and my recommendation to the fans would be to concentrate on that!


Baltimore Orioles: Do you just take what you can get?

Earlier this week we heard that the Baltimore Orioles were seeing that the trade market around closer Zach Britton wasn’t exactly forming up the way that the Birds thought it would. Translated, that means the Orioles aren’t getting the offers they feel Britton’s worth. So the question at hand is what do the Orioles do – lower the price or stand firm?

First off, how do I know that teams aren’t offering up with Dan Duquette wants in return? Am I privy to those conversations? Of course not. But…is it possible that teams truly just aren’t interested? Sure, I suppose it’s always possible. But…

…Britton’s saved 55 straight games. There’s no question that he’s the best closer in baseball right now, and has been for the past 2-3 years. Are you really telling me that there’s no market for this guy? There’s nobody out there that’s interested? Now really, does that make sense?!

I didn’t think so. Thus, teams are trying to play hardball with the Orioles. There might also be one other factor at play. In the past week two major starters in the NL have gone on the DL in Strasburg and Kershaw. The L.A. Dodgers were one of the teams that were heavy into Britton. It’s possible that their needs have now changed, as perhaps they look to pick up an additional starter as well.

However that aside, the question is whether or not the Orioles are actually the ones being unreasonable. Keep in mind that the trade deadline is Monday at 4 PM. So there will be a flurry of activity this weekend, as well as Monday.

Without actually knowing, odds are that the negotiations with teams is going as follows: Duquette’s asking for ABC and telling teams that Britton’s the best closer in baseball, 55 straight saves, etc. Teams are saying we don’t want to give anything more up than CBA for a guy who only pitches one inning. And in fact that could be a somwhat fair point – for a pedestrian closer, that is.

A lot of fans have told me that you get whatever you can get for players. So in theory that means that you yourself are undervaluing your players if you take that view. This sounds a bit out there, but what if the best you can do is a low level single-A prospect? Are you really willing to trade the best closer in baseball for that?

Teams are going to try to get your players for as cheaply as they can. It’s up to you to make sure that they aren’t getting undervalued. Again, I say that it doesn’t pay for the Orioles to trade Britton or anyone if they aren’t getting a haul in return.

The Orioles are in Texas this evening to open up a three-game set. Chris Tillman heads to the mound for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Andrew Cashner. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles finally able to outlast Houston

Houston’s a team that’s given the Baltimore Orioles fits over several years. Keep in mind that coming into yesterday’s game, the Birds had lost eight straight to Houston, meaning that Zach Britton rarely saw the field when the team would play. They’re a pesky team, and they simply don’t take no for an answer.

Dylan Bundy came within a few pitches of having a good outing yesterday, but he was done in by two three-run homers. Bundy’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Luckily the Orioles gave him a lead yesterday as opposed to the team having to play catch-up. The O’s loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, and Kim was subsequently hit by a pitch. Tejada would later ground into a double-play which scored another run, and the Birds led 2-0. A Jones RBI-single would run it to 3-0.

So you felt that the O’s were looking strong on this Sunday afternoon, and in fact they were. However again, Houston simply doesn’t take no for an answer. They refuse to accept that you scored three runs and that they’re now three down. Altuve smacked a three-run homer in the third which immediately tied the game.

However it wasn’t tied for long. Mancini’s RBI-single in the bottom of that third inning gave the Orioles the lead back at 4-3. One inning later Davis’ sac fly-RBI and an RBI-double again by Mancini gave the O’s their three-run lead back at 6-3. Houston wasn’t capable of coming back again though – were they?

Of course they were. Because they don’t take no for an answer. Aoki smacked a three-run homer in the sixth to tie the game up, eventually helping to chase Bundy – who was two outs from a quality start. Instead he gave up seven runs, the seventh of which crossed after he left the game. That run crossed on Reddick’s sac fly-RBI, as Houston took the lead at 7-6.

The Orioles felt that they had put the death blow on Houston twice over. Yet they came back. However trailing briefly by that one run felt insurmountable. Where as the Orioles were hoping something good was going to happen, Houston somehow was finding a way to go out and make it happen. But for once, that sort of spunk wasn’t going to cut it.

Mark Trumbo sent a ball high and deep to left field in the last of the seventh. It was really a matter of whether or not it would stay fair – and it did! His solo homer tied the game back up at seven, and put the wind back in the Orioles’ sails. One inning later, they had the lead back for good on a Machado sac fly-RBI. Schoop would add an RBI-single, and the O’s ended up with a 9-7 victory.

The Orioles were at their wits end with this team. Luckily Britton shut them down in the ninth, knotching his 55th consecutive save converted. But Houston’s a good team, and from top to bottom there’s very little give in their lineup. The O’s dropped the series, however that was a big team win yesterday and one from which they hope they can bring the momentum forward.

The O’s now hit the road and travel to Tampa for a three-game set. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Blake Snell. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Zach Britton on the trade block?

Multiple outlets have reported that teams have contacted the Baltimore Orioles about trading for closer Zach Britton. And in general it’s not all that surprising given Britton’s track record, and the need for a quality back end of the rotation guy. But should the Orioles pull the trigger?

This might surprise you, but I say a resounding YES – if the deal is good. And I’ll get to that part in a moment. The Orioles have a pretty decent bullpen without Britton. While they’re better with him, the fact is that the ‘pen is strong one way or the other. Now I’m on record as saying that the Orioles shouldn’t sell, and I still believe that. I’m just saying that Britton might be worth just as much on the trade market as he is on the roster at the moment.

So let me once again say that I feel it would be a mistake to bust up the likes of Machado, Schoop, Jones, etc. – and Britton. But the Orioles could potentially deal Britton, and get some sort of return that would be worth their while. And that HAS to be the key in any trade; it has to be worth the seller’s while.

So what would be worth the while of the Orioles? If it were me, I’d want a veteran guy who could in theory slide into a setup-type role, which is where we currently find Brad Brach. That would allow Brach to become the new closer full time. So…is that is?

No, of course not. That trade would be heavily slanted in favor of the buyer. In my view the O’s would also have to get a fairly decent starting pitching prospect back as well. And I’m not talking someone that might be in a team’s pipeline – in single-A or so. I mean a guy who’s probably been banging the door down at triple-A to come to the majors.

Some people are going to say that the Orioles couldn’t expect that much in return. Is that so? Did the ChiSox not just get four hot prospects for a starting pitcher from their cross-town rival? Granted that’s a starter, but keep in mind that I adjusted the sheer mass numbers down given the fact that we’re talking about a closer.

And that’s all part of the tap dance regarding trades. The Orioles have always said that they aren’t going to allow other teams to de-value their players. Heck, why not even see if you can’t get more than that. Maybe see if you can’t strong-arm a hitting prospect as well.

Again folks, if you’re going to make a trade it has to be worth your while. If you aren’t willing to negotiate the right deal, don’t make the trade.

Baltimore Orioles: Injury updates on Zach Britton and others

According to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports, Baltimore Orioles’ closer Zach Britton has improved in terms of his condition. Britton began feeling discomfort in his left side towards the beginning of camp, and was in essence shut down. For the time being, it appears that he’s dodged an oblique injury…again, for the time being.

It’s tough to say where, if anywhere, this goes. But needless to say it’s something to watch as the Grapefruit League “season” wears on. Keep in mind also that this isn’t necessarily a setback for Britton in terms of time. Teams reported a bit earlier than normal this year due to the World Baseball Classic. So whether or not he would have been playing in games at this point is another story.

Catcher Welington Castillo is in this afternoon’s starting lineup, which is a good sign. Castillo, as was reported here on this column earlier today, woke up with neck spasms yesterday and was unable to play. I suppose we’ve all done it; slept the wrong way and suffered from a stiff neck the next day. But the fact that he’s playing today means no harm no foul. So that’s a bit of good news for the Birds.

I will be interested to see how far into today’s game Wade Miley is allowed to go. At this stage of spring most starting pitchers are getting two innings, and that’s what the first two games yielded. However Miley is probably slated for the rotation, so might he be in the game for a bit longer? Possibly, but we’ll have to see.

I say this every year, and several times at that. However fans should keep in mind while watching these early spring games and results that pitchers are ahead of the hitters. So the focus for a lot of hitters in games such as today’s is going to be timing. So strikeouts might pile up, and runs might be hard to come by. But at this stage of the game that isn’t a sign of any sort of pending offensive doom.


Baltimore Orioles: Should Zach Britton be on the trading block?

Since the beginning of the winter meetings last week, many Baltimore Orioles fans have been talking about the possibility of the team trading closer Zach Britton. Unequicovally, I think that would be a mistake on several fronts. But that’s just my view.

The idea of course is that the Orioles won’t be able to re-sign Britton when his contract is up in 2019. So if they traded him now, they’d get a king’s ransom in return since his value is higher than it ever would be. And there’s no arguing that, because the guy’s coming of of a year when he saved 47 straight games.

However the Orioles are often told that they over-value their players. I actually think it’s the opposite, and other teams are under-valuing the Orioles’ players. Or pretending to at least in hopes of getting them cheap. However the thing with Britton is that as gifted as a closer as he is, he only pitches one inning a game. So what exactly could the Orioles hope to get in return?

Aside from what they could get, I still think it would be a mistake. And in fact, it doesn’t appear that Britton is for sale. When you have a closer of his caliber, you don’t trade him. There’s no question that he won’t come cheap in 2019 – that goes without saying. However you’re all but admitting defeat before you even get started if you do that.

Furthermore, the Orioles hoped for years and years that they could “be good.” Now they’re good, and fans seem to want them to trade their pieces away. Again, I understand the sentiment, and I recognize that those who feel this way think that the Orioles would be improving for the future if they did it. That goes without saying, and yes you perpetually need to ensure the security of your future in this business.

However at some point you also have to realize when you “are good.” That’s where the Orioles are right now. If you start trading pieces looking towards the future, one of two things will happen. Either those prospects won’t pan out, or they will. And if they do, in five or six years you might find yourself back in this spot. So…in essence you simply defered your shot at a World Series.

What the O’s need to do is go for it now – while Britton and company are still under contract. Let’s go back to the idea of getting prospects in return; what if they don’t pan out? That’s the risk in all trades – and if that happens, well…you’re up a creek without a paddle.

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