In a sign that perhaps things really have changed in The Warehouse, the Orioles have agreed to deal Zach Britton to the hated New York Yankees.
(Unless, of course, Pete wakes up and vetoes this whole thing. He could certainly find something he hates in the medicals. But for now, we’re going to go ahead with the reports that the deal is done.)
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2018
Our knee-jerk reactions here:
Getting anything of value for a guy who tore his Achilles eight months ago is pretty impressive. We’ll have more analysis on Tate, Rogers, and Carroll below and in the coming days, but my big takeaway from this trade is renewed optimism that the O’s really are changing the way they do things. In the past, Pete would have squashed this deal, not wanting to help NYY in any way. Look at this!
Last in-season trade between #Yankees and #Orioles before non-waiver deadline, per STATS LLC: Stan Jefferson to BAL for John Habyan on 7/20/1989. Big step for O’s if deal is completed. For Machado and Britton, will have acquired #Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect, #Yankees’ Nos. 9 and 15.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2018
So it’s the first time these teams have struck an in-season pre-waiver deadline deal since before the Angelos family even owned the team. If the Yankees’ package was indeed the most impressive, of course the Orioles should have accepted it.
Now what I’d like to know is, who is pulling these strings? Is it Dan Duquette (most likely)? Is it Brady Anderson (less likely)? Is it Buck Showalter (quite unlikely)? Whoever has been the architect of these last two trades should be officially promoted and/or extended, in my humble opinion.
Was told earlier today that #Orioles were prioritizing getting Machado/Britton done as early as possible b4 deadline to get 2 best commodities off dockets, so can have time to try to maximize Brach/Jones, plus maybe Bundy, Gausman, Givens, Schoop.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 25, 2018
Everything must go!
This is a better return than Kelvin Herrera and Jeurys Familia fetched, that’s for sure. All things considered, this is a pretty solid deal for the Orioles. Tate could either be a starter or high-level reliever, but the change in his mechanics make him a promising prospect.
This move is about depth and gives the Orioles yet another Top 10 and potential Top 5 prospect in their system. Zach Britton, we salute you.
The big get here, and the only name that really matters, is Tate. A former fourth overall pick by the Rangers who ended up with the Yankees in the 2016 Carlos Beltran deal, Tate was a consensus top 10 prospect for New York and a top 150ish prospect in all of baseball. He’d probably be a lot higher than that but for a history of nagging injuries that have limited his playing time as a pro.
Like most pitching prospects who garner attention from evaluators, Tate ramps up the velocity on his fastball to the mid-to-high 90’s. That’s led a lot of people to project him as a back-end reliever long term, but his slider and change-up both grade as plus pitches depending on what you read.
There’s definitely potential to develop into a solid starter if he proves durable enough, but a dominant reliever wouldn’t be a bad return for Britton either given his contract and recent injury history.
Like Machado, Britton was another one of the Orioles’ top trade chips, and also only a rental for acquiring teams. Unlike Machado, however Britton was coming off a major injury and although he showed the velocity on his power sinker was back, his walk rate was still high so this wasn’t the Britton of 2016 the Orioles were trading.
That said, if this trade is completed the Orioles likely got back 3 bullpen arms for the price of 1. Tate and Rogers have been starting this season while Carroll has pitched solely as a reliever.
Tate has battled injuries and is now 24 years old in AA Trenton, but the former-first round pick has a solid 1.11 WHIP and 8.2 K/9. Still his ability to start is in question and he could wind up in the bullpen.
Carroll, 25, has dominated in AAA with a 1.08 WHIP and 11.9 K/9 and can throw close to 100 MPH. He could join the Orioles’ bullpen to replace Britton immediately.
Rogers, 24 seems like a left-handed Jim Johnson – both former draft picks in the teens that put together nice numbers in the minors but weren’t highly ranked as prospects. Rogers might stick as a 4th or 5th starter or like Johnson he could take the next step in his career in the Orioles bullpen. He doesn’t throw extremely hard but locates his pitches well and has a pretty good slider.
Overall this package doesn’t have any top 100 prospects but is a solid return for Britton and these prospects will help the Orioles almost immediately for little cost.
It will sting a bit to see Britton in pinstripes, but there’s no guarantee he goes out and dominates like 2016 either which is why this return is merely solid instead of good.
The Names Don’t Matter.
The Orioles are, apparently (medicals and Angelos intervention pending) trading Zach Britton to the Yankees. This is a good thing and the return is really beside the point.
Whatever prospects the Orioles get back in the deal are lottery tickets. They all are. Anybody who thinks they know that “these guys” are better or worse than “those guys” they could’ve gotten are full of themselves. The #9 prospect rather than the #5 prospect. At this stage it doesn’t matter.
The Orioles are in a full tear down. None of the players currently on the roster will be there when they’ll be good again and, wow, that’s going to be a long time. The most valuable assets they have, now that Manny is gone, and the LEAST valuable to the team right now are relief pitchers. They should move every one of them that they can for whatever they can get in return.
The Orioles are trading Britton to the Yankees.
If The Warehouse had started this tear down with a list of teams they wouldn’t deal with then they would be cheating the fans. Get the best price you can get from whatever team will pay it. That’s the only way to do it right.
Yes, it’s going to suck seeing Zach Britton in pinstripes (or the road grays of NYY…whatever) in Camden Yards. You know what? If it’s the best thing you can do for a team who is hopelessly lost then you do it. It’s not time for emotion. It’s time for cold, hard business.
This move allows the Yankees to revamp their bullpen in an effort to win #28, while the Orioles continue the beginning phases of their rebuild by stockpiling some young arms. Tate was a top-10 prospect in New York’s system after the Texas Rangers selected him in the first round in 2015, falling anywhere from 6-9 in various publications and is having a much improved season following an adjustment to his delivery. The more relaxed delivery allows Tate to throw an easy mid-to-upper 90s fastball to go along with an improving changeup and solid slider, according to pinstripedprospects.com. He could be a middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starter or a power reliever.
Carroll has had success at every level he has pitched and has a career-low 1.08 WHIP in 32 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, providing the Orioles with some solid relief depth in the upper levels of the farm. His fastball will sit upper-90s and has been known to touch 99. His slider is a huge out pitch but he has trouble controlling it. If he can harness it, he may be a huge asset out of that Baltimore bullpen in the coming years. Think a right handed Tanner Scott.
Josh Rogers is a nice throw-in on the deal as he has notched a 3.95 ERA in 19 starts, all at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The lefty won’t overpower hitters, but he has impeccable control and can spot his fastball, which could make it look a few ticks faster. His ceiling could be a #4/5 starter in the majors.
All-in-all, the Orioles got a very solid haul for a what amounts to a rental for the Yanks. With their rebuild gaining momentum after the trades of Britton and Manny Machado, the Orioles seem to be pushing all the right buttons, for now. Adam Jones should be next. Stay tuned.
As was the case with the Manny Machado trade, the return for Britton will look underwhelming to some. What could’ve been if the Orioles had traded their closer at the deadline last season, perhaps to the Astros? The world may never know. After Britton suffered his Achilles injury this winter, I never expected him to be back in time to even produce any trade value. The fact that the O’s are able to get three players, including two in the top-15 of the Yankees’ organization, in this deal is impressive enough for me.
You have to factor that the return is larger than the Royals got for Kelvin Herrera or the Mets got for Jeurys Familia. That’s good. You also have to factor that the market is flooded with relievers this season. We’ve already seen Brad Hand traded and would expect to see more relievers go elsewhere in the next week. When you consider all of these factors, getting anything for Britton is a win.
Yes, it could’ve been a better return last season. But unless the Orioles are making a different deal for a time machine, this will have to do.