With John Means on the trading block, what could the Orioles get in return?
Before Major League Baseball locked out the players, the Baltimore Orioles were reportedly shopping around ace starting pitcher John Means in a trade. These were only preliminary talks that did not lead to any serious trade discussions, but it is worth exploring what a deal for Means would look like.
A couple of weeks ago, Ben Clemens at FanGraphs looked at what a team trading for Means would be getting, and how they could improve his results. The short answer is that he should throw more breaking balls and fewer fastballs in two-strike counts. I thought it would be interesting today to see what the Orioles could get back for their best pitcher.
Of course, the Orioles do not need to trade Means. He still has three years of team control left and will only make $3-4 million in his first year of arbitration, barring huge changes to the system in CBA negotiations. After an amazing first half of the 2021 season where Means threw a no-hitter, he struggled down the stretch coming back from an injury. Mike Elias might be better off waiting for Means to pitch better and then trade him at the deadline with higher value.
But if the front office chooses to trade him before Spring Training, they should still get a decent return for him. In fact, they will only trade Means if they get a return they are happy with and will not settle for less.