Griesser’s Suggested Change of the Week
With the MLB Trade Deadline approaching, it’s no surprise that my Suggested Change of the Week will revolve around the departure of a player or two.
I don’t really think I need to go into much more detail about that, but I’ll remind everyone that as one of the worst teams in the league, the Orioles have no need for players with current value, and should ship them off to bring in younger talents who could make the club better when it becomes relevant again.
Now, as I’ve outlined before, Mike Elias doesn’t really have a blue-chip piece to swap for high-level prospects, which could make Baltimore’s deadline rather uninspiring. At the same time, there are two players he should be sure to send to a contender in the next week.
The reasons why these players have value have been discussed all over our site, not just by me but by much of the ESR crew, so I’ll let you read about that in detail on your own time.
However, quickly, I’ll say that Givens’ turnaround has likely caught the league’s attention, and Villar’s experience and versatility make him a player for contenders to consider.
Additionally, because they aren’t the type of players that instantly put you in the title conversation, they won’t require a massive haul.
For me, when it comes to Givens, the Milwaukee Brewers make sense as a landing spot.
Sitting smack in the middle of the pack in bullpen ERA at 4.49 (17th in the league), they certainly could use help if they hope to climb to the top of a tight NL Central. Givens should be able to help make the back-end a strength.
And, because Milwaukee already has a strong closing option in Josh Hader, Givens would be able to pitch in lower-leverage situations, where he’s performed better.
For the Orioles, this trade should net them more than the next I discuss will, though the return likely won’t be anything overwhelming.
In Bello, the Orioles would bring in a super fast outfielder with the potential to hit down the road; many scouts feel he will be able to stick in CF and could hit atop a lineup in the majors.
In Jarvis and/or Zhao, Elias would continue stocking the system with young, high-potential arms. While Jarvis has a three solid pitches at just 18, Zhao has a daunting curveball; this trade would give the birds two young pitchers to keep an eye on.
Bringing in two or even three players for Givens despite him having a tough year would be a solid return, especially if each of them provide real reason for excitement.
As for Villar, I feel a logical fit is the Chicago Cubs. Having just sent talented shortstop Addison Russell back to the minors, they’ll be looking to solidify the 6-hole, even if it’s just while Russell sorts things out.
If it is to be a temporary fill, Villar makes sense over other options the Cubs could pursue, not only because they have a somewhat depleted farm system but also because he’d provide value beyond Russell’s return given his speed and utility ability.
Speaking of the Cubs’ depleted farm system, though, let’s see what the Orioles could get in return for their veteran infielder.
In my mind, the Orioles should be able to swap Villar for a pitcher and infielder. First, I would like to see Elias bring in third baseman Fabian Pertuz. At just 18 years old, Pertuz has all the potential in the world, even if he isn’t ranked in MLB.com’s top-30 club prospects.
Pertuz is known as a strong fielder at the shortstop position, but he surprised with his bat in the Dominican Summer League last year. This year, his first in the American minors, he’s continued his success, batting an impressive .351 with 1 HR and 14 RBI in 24 games.
While he’s certainly a ways off, Pertuz could be an intriguing piece to add to this system.
Rounding out the deal, 24-year old right-hander Oscar De La Cruz makes sense as a filler arm. He’s been considered a promising pitcher in the past, though his progression has slowed as of late and has hit a wall around AA.
However, with the success Orioles pitchers have shows relying on Elias and Sig Mejdal’s use of analytics, I believe De La Cruz would be an interesting piece to add. Who knows, maybe he’d turn things around?
With these two deals, it’s that sort of hopefulness with which Elias should operate. While Dan Duquette brought in a ton of older prospects with less potential, the Birds should be focusing on stocking the system with young, athletic, toolsy players.
Though they are definitely lottery tickets and most may not pan out, others will.
And those guys that do will be hugely important for this ballclub.