Guthrie, Not Millwood, May Be Orioles’ Most Tradable Pitcher

Baltimore acquired Kevin Millwood last December so he could provide some veteran leadership to their young staff, but even at the time of the trade, there were whispers that Millwood could soon be on the move again.  It made sense that a rebuilding team like the Orioles might try to flip Millwood in a midseason deal for prospects, and Baltimore's poor start to the season has made the right-hander even more expendable.

As FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal points out, however, Millwood might not even be the most attractive trade asset on Baltimore's staff.  Jeremy Guthrie has a lower ERA (3.71 to Millwood's 4.64), a lower WHIP (1.13 to 1.44) and is very close to Millwood in K-BB ratio (2.41 to Millwood's 2.65).  Perhaps more importantly for interested teams, Guthrie isn't a free agent until after the 2012 season and has about $1.9MM left to earn of his $3MM salary for this season.  A team that deals for Millwood, on the other hand, will owe him approximately $7.57MM remaining on his $12MM 2010 salary.  (Texas paid Baltimore $3MM of that salary when trading Millwood over the winter, but it's unknown if the O's would send a representative portion of that money to a trade partner.)  Millwood is also a free agent after this season.

More and more contending teams are shying away from acquiring older rent-a-players at the cost of valuable prospects, and thus Millwood may not be able to pull in the young talent that the Orioles want.  Guthrie's younger age (31), pedigree (he was a first-round pick for the Indians in the 2002 draft) and potential upside might convince a team to part with a decent prospect or two.  Rosenthal notes that Guthrie's situation makes him more attractive to the O's too, but given Baltimore's struggles, it's hard to see them turning down a good offer on any veteran player.

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