The Rundown: O’s Were Wise to Not Settle for Sub-Par Britton Return

Buck Showalter stands with his hands on his hips.

The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone and the Orioles did what most fans feared: they didn’t sell off their top trade chips. It remains to be seen if this line of thinking will backfire for years to come.

O’s Were “Buyers” at the Deadline

It’s hard for me to call the O’s buyers at the deadline when they acquired players like Jeremy Hellickson and Tim Beckham, but since they added and didn’t trade away any top talent, we must classify them as such.

There have already been reports that ownership nixed a couple of trades due to medical reasons and not everyone is on the same page. This shouldn’t be surprising and it’s just par for the course when dealing with this organization. Dan Duquette has made his share of mistakes, but he’s still working with one hand tied behind his back due to the way Peter Angelos and company operate. We have debated their philosophy when it comes to international spending at length, but that’s an ownership decision so Duquette is trying to make the best of a terrible and very short-sighted situation.

The real question is, what type of talent were the Orioles actually getting back in return for Zach Britton? We may never know, but as I have written before, their asking price should have been close to the level the Yankees received for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller last year. If they weren’t able to get that kind of return, it’s wise to try again in the off-season or this point next year if the team is once again in this position.

Jon Paul Morosi was on MLB Network and said the Orioles were asking for one of the Houston Astros’ top outfield prospects in Kyle Tucker and Derek Fisher. Good, they should have. The Astros didn’t want to do that so the Orioles said no. That’s exactly what should have happened. The O’s didn’t need to settle and unless we find out otherwise later on, it appears they did not settle.

 

Final Two Months

The Orioles concluded the month of July with a 12-14 record, their third straight month finishing under .500. If we want to look at the positive, they have won nine of their last 14 games. It’s going to be an uphill battle to get back into the mix of playoffs, but it’s encouraging to see Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop continue to hit and Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman turn their seasons around.

The team’s handling of Dylan Bundy over the next couple of months will be interesting and probably one of the bigger reasons for the acquisition of Hellickson. Duquette has proven willing and able to make moves in the month of August so if things go sour quick, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Seth Smith and Welington Castillo moved. It was apparent that teams were looking for pitching at the deadline so position players weren’t exactly in demand across the league. All it takes is one injury for that to change and with Smith and Castillo not part of the long-term plans, I’m sure the O’s would like to get something for those two.

In the end, we have seen this core group play at an extremely high level.

After yesterday, the message is pretty clear: the players are the ones who have to turn this around.

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About Phil Backert

Phil Backert
Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led...more

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