Baltimore Orioles baseball people are realistic to understand they may need to sell this year.
But can they?
Owner Peter Angelos “has never sold” points out one rival GM. Angelos is 88 now, but that has never been his M.O. Angelos always has been a “go for it” kind of guy.
But is there something to go for this year?
The O’s will give it another 10 days or so, but if they don’t turn things around in a hurry, it looks pretty bleak. The American League is wide open, but the Orioles, with underachievement almost across the board, are in fourth place in an AL East that hasn’t exactly distinguished itself in recent weeks.
It seems difficult to imagine that the Orioles can work their way into a World Series contender, with almost all their young players underperforming, and that includes even superstar Manny Machado, along with just about the entire starting rotation. Folks were skeptical of the starting rotation at the start, but Kevin Gausman’s star has fallen and Dylan Bundy, after a decent start, has slumped lately, as well.
It’s hard to imagine the Orioles trading from this strong position-player stash, but they are getting a lot of calls on their relievers, most notably star closer Zach Britton and set-up guys Brad Brach and Mychal Givens. Britton would obviously be the big-ticket item, and if he can show he’s back to full health over the next few outings, he could bring a haul.
The nearby Nats would love nothing more than to get their hands on Britton, who has a year and half to go before free agency, to solve their obvious pen woes. But the Dodgers, who have zero need at closer, and a few others have called on Britton as well. So it’d be quite a feeding frenzy. Brach and Givens are well-regarded as well, so the Orioles could rebuild their system with a pen fire sale. The likelihood that happens isn’t necessarily great, though – as Angelo would have to change his ways for this to occur.