Baltimore Orioles: Nationals rumors with Britton at the trade deadline

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Zach Britton
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Zach Britton /

The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals might have to get a baseball deal done that doesn’t involve television revenues.

With the trade deadline mere hours away, the Baltimore Orioles have something the Nationals need – a super closer.

And, the Nats have some prospects to trade to get Zach Britton.

Cubs vs Nats could be a playoff issue

The issue that the Nationals now have to consider is the trade that the Chicago Cubs made with the Detroit Tigers. Earlier today, the Cubs acquired Justin Wilson and Alex Avila. WIth both the Nats and the Cubs sitting in first place in their divisions, these two will most likely battle in the postseason.

Since the Orioles have a very slim chance of making the playoffs, holding on to Britton does not make much sense. The Orioles could also trade Darren O’Day or Brad Brach if Britton is a no-go. They are all swing and miss guys who could help out the Nationals or other contending teams.

The Indians could be in on Britton

Another possibility for Britton could be the Cleveland Indians. After losing the World Series last year to the Cubs, the Indians are on a mission to get back there. But, to do it, they will need to defeat the Astros. The Indians already have Andrew Miller, who is usually the set-up guy, and Cody Allen who has 20 saves in 2017. Adding Britton would give the Indians the best pitching staff in the American League.

Right now, the Nationals do not have a set closer. Koda Glover has the most saves and Sean Doolittle was recently added to the Nats after six seasons with the Oakland Athletics. But, neither of these men are of the same caliber as Britton.

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Prospects with arms

Trading with the Nationals or Indians makes sense for the Orioles. The Nationals have a handful of young pitchers that they could trade and so do the Indians. The Indians have a young pitcher named Triston McKenzie, who is only 19 years old and already made it to the Futures Game. He is currently listed as the 24th best prospect in the MLB Pipeline.  The Nationals do not have as many prospects in the Top 100, but they do have three young pitchers in their own Top 10.

If the Orioles keep Britton, then they will continue to have one of the best bullpens in the MLB. Britton has one more year before he enters free agency. With Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman entering free agency at the end of the season, Dan Duquette could make some moves that bolster the rotation. He’s already added Jeremy Hellickson to help lower the team ERA.

Next: Previewing the Orioles vs Royals series

If Britton remains with the Orioles and the rotation is cleaned up, then the Orioles could have playoff hopes for 2018.