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.

6 Responses to Guthrie, Not Millwood, May Be Orioles’ Most Tradable Pitcher Leave a Reply

  1. Yankees420 5 years ago

    The O’s should definitely deal Guthrie, his value will only decrease as he gets closer to FA, and thus becomes more expensive to retain. They could probably get one or two top 10-15 prospects from someone if McPhail handles it right.

  2. Civilization 5 years ago

    Selling this. Millwood’s ERA is reflecting an abnormal amount of home runs surrendered. 16.2% HR/FB ratio compared to his career high of 10.6%. When this adjusts Millwood’s numbers will be more appealing then Guthrie. Note the difference in xFIP between the two.

    Guthrie might be a better investment but the argument made is counter intuitive to the idea. Teams are less likely to give up prospects for rent-a-player older players, and while Guthrie may not be a rent-a-player he’s no spring chicken. And the price tag for Millwood isn’t going to be much compared to a Guthrie. Teams will take a flier on a salary dump of Millwood before considering adding Guthrie.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Guthrie isn’t that old, he’ll turn 32 at the start of next season, while Millwood is already 35. Also I don’t think his salary will get that high, maybe 5-7MM next year and ~9MM in 2012, which isn’t a bad price to pay if his production is ~180IP near a 4ERA (or even lower if an NL team acquires him.) All in all, I don’t think Guthrie is as good as he is now but I do believe he will fetch more in a trade than Millwood.

      • Civilization 5 years ago

        Exactly. While Guthrie isn’t that old, he’s at that age where you expect to see that downward slope of production to appear. Combined with a reasonable contract that has team control past this year and probably a midlevel contract would resign him, the prospects involved would be a bit pricey. We’re not talking top level guys, but it’ll take a B level prospect or two. Where as Millwood could be had for a warm body and half his prorated salary.

        Either a team can send the Os a warm body and about 3.5 million or send them a B and C level prospect to get Guthrie…

        • Yankees420 5 years ago

          I agree, and maybe someone like the Cards that are looking for pitching might prefer Guthrie because he can be a relatively cheap innings eater in the #4 slot for more than just this season. I don’t know if they want to take the hit to the farm but if they can work something out that they agree with then they basically have their rotation for next season and can concentrate on resigning Pujols. Just a thought.

  3. aap212 5 years ago

    Really? The younger, cheaper, more durable, and team controlled pitcher is more appealing? Tell us more, Professor Rosenthal.

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