After the Baltimore Orioles were knocked out of postseason contention, the possibility of trading Zach Britton came up in end of the season interviews. But in a recent interview, Orioles Vice President Dan Duquette changed his tune and didn’t seem interested in trading his closer.
Earlier this offseason, the Baltimore Orioles toyed with the idea of shopping closer Zach Britton. Now, Dan Duquette seems intent on keeping Britton on the roster next season.
Britton is coming off a historical season, where he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and had a 0.54 ERA in 67 innings.
He’s heading to arbitration this offseason where he’ll make approximately $11.4 Million in 2017. But the Orioles will have to decide whether or not they’re going to extend Britton’s contract.
The Orioles are known for their stellar bullpen which includes Britton, Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens and Brad Bach. Despite that, the Orioles are interested in acquiring another bullpen arm to use as a lefty or righty specialist. But any move the Orioles make for the pen will be to strengthen it, not deplete it.
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Here’s what Duquette had to say about the pen on 105.7 The Fan:
"“We have a real solid bullpen,. That’s been one of the staples of the team the last couple of years when we’ve been very competitive. That’s something that Buck (Showalter) does really well. He manages it very precisely, gets the most out of the players. And we saw Zach Britton develop and be the best pitcher in the league this year by perfecting his sinker. That’s going to remain a strength for the team.“I hope that we can add a couple of players from our minor league system like we added (Donnie) Hart this year, like we added Givens last year to come up and bolster that bullpen and give us a little bit more depth. And I hope that we can do that for next season.“Britton we have for a couple more years. I really like what he did for us. And you saw the value of the relievers in the postseason, the way that Terry Francona and Joe Maddon used their closers. They were both acquired in trades during the season. (Andrew) Miller, of course, was traded by the Yankees to the Indians and they gave up a lot of their farm system to get him. And then Chapman, the same to the Cubs.”"
Britton won’t be a free agent until 2018 and if the Orioles wanted to trade him, he’d bring back a few pieces in the trade market.
However, the Orioles would be a better team in 2017 with Britton on the roster.