Manny Machado traded: More Orioles likely to be dealt before MLB trade deadline
From Zach Britton to Jonathan Schoop, we examine all the Orioles' trade options
Because we aim to be nothing if not helpful (and, well, messy), we decided to put together a list of Orioles who are the most likely to be moved in the coming weeks. Note that the players are listed in order of most to least likely to be dealt this month.
Early in the Machado talks, a belief existed that the O's would include Zach Britton in a deal to sweeten the return. They didn't, but Britton is still a goner. Once an elite closer, injuries have robbed him of velocity, command, and effectiveness. Britton is no longer closer material, yet expect some team to add him as a reclamation project before the calendar flips to August. Because Britton is a free agent at year's end, whatever team gets him will need to work quickly.
Brad Brach's story is similar in ways to Britton's: after years of being a top-end reliever, he's now an impending free agent trying to find his footing after losing oomph on his fastball. The good news for Brach is that 1. he can still miss bats, and 2. his overall strike percentage is roughly league average despite an uptick in his walk rate. A team believing his troubles are linked to the Orioles defense -- the worst in the majors -- could slot him in as a setup man.
Okay, so Danny Valencia isn't going to move the needle for anyone. He is, however, a well-traveled corner bat who can hit lefties (.311/.370/.496 for his career). That type has some value on a contender's bench, particularly one willing and able to run a platoon at first base or DH. Valencia is probably already packed, a byproduct of playing for eight teams since 2012.
We addressed why Adam Jones . It boils down to this: Jones can hit righties and would see his catch-all metrics improve if he were moved to a corner. Factor in his good-guy reputation across the league, and he's likely to be a nifty addition.
Every Oriole above Mychal Givens on this list feels certain to be moved at some point or another. Beginning here, the odds of a trade begin to dip. Like the two relievers mentioned before him, Givens is having a down season. His velocity has held steady, however, and he's under team control until winter 2021. As such, the Orioles can hold onto him if they'd like.
For as frustrating as Kevin Gausman is -- he shows flashes of being brilliant -- he always seems to post the same numbers at season's end. To wit, Gausman's 95 ERA+ would mark the third time in four tries he's finished between 93 and 97. What's more is his 3.59 K/BB ratio would also represent the third time in four years he's slotted in between 3.55 and 3.70. Whether or not a team believes they can unlock his upside before he hits free agency in 2020 is irrelevant -- so long as he can remain this consistent, he'll hold appeal as a mid-rotation arm.
And here's where the odds really dip. Mark Trumbo is having a fine season, complete with a 109 OPS+ that is better than his career norm. He's unlikely to go anywhere, though, because he's a right-handed first baseman-slash-DH who is due more than $13 million next season. Maybe if the Orioles eat the money they could find a taker. But what's the point, really? Especially if a contender can nab Valencia, who is perpetually available, for next to nothing.
It's not likely that any team would want Alex Cobb, not with an ugly ERA and more than $43 million remaining on his contract. But a bargain-bin sorting team could talk themselves into his velocity uptick and static underlying metrics -- at least to the extent that they'd call and see how much money the Orioles would be willing to eat in exchange for a rookie-ball lottery ticket.
Think of Dylan Bundy as Gausman with an additional year of team control. The Orioles can afford to wait until the winter or next deadline or even the winter after next before making a deal.
Jonathan Schoop's breakout was either contained to 2017 or decided to skip 2018 for reasons unknown. He's having an atrocious season at the plate, putting the O's in an awkward spot. Because Schoop is a free agent after next season, Baltimore ought to be shopping him around. But there's no sense in selling low, and that makes a trade involving Schoop a more realistic possibility for this winter or next deadline.
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