The Orioles have “made a couple offers to” free agent slugger Mark Trumbo, Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told reporters (including Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun and MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko), though despite ongoing talks, an agreement has yet to be reached. “We’ve had several conversations with Mark Trumbo, but we haven’t been able to cinch a deal with him….We’ve had a dialogue going with them for several weeks,” Duquette said.
Though there was mutual interest in a continued relationship between the two sides prior to the end of the season, there hasn’t been much news about Trumbo and Orioles until now. Duquette said during the GM Meetings that the club was looking to prioritize defense and add a left-handed hitting outfielder, neither of which describe what Trumbo brings to the table. Duquette cited outfield defense again today, though Trumbo could also fill Baltimore’s hole at designated hitter. As I noted in my free agent profile of Trumbo, his value could greatly improve if a team uses him in a first base/DH role rather than as a corner outfielder.
Right field is the specific need for the O’s, as Duquette said Hyun Soo Kim and Joey Rickard could handle left field in a platoon and the team hasn’t put much thought into moving Chris Davis from first base into right. As for other internal options, Duquette also cited youngster Trey Mancini as having the hitting potential to possibly handle regular DH duty.
Trumbo has received some interest from the Rockies this winter, though Colorado would have to give up a hefty draft pick price (the 11th overall selection in next year’s draft) to sign Trumbo, who rejected the Orioles’ qualifying offer. That same QO status is a consideration for the O’s as well as they explore re-signing Trumbo, Duquette noted, as is the changing nature of the qualifying offer system in future years under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Aside from Trumbo, Duquette also discussed such topics as the team’s needs in right field, catcher (either as a starter or platoon partner with Caleb Joseph) and the potential use of the upcoming Rule 5 draft to procure more young talent.
Duquette also denied a rumor about an extension between Manny Machado and the Orioles, saying that the two sides hadn’t had any talks. Most teams wait until after the bulk of the offseason work is complete before entering into extension negotiations, so we might not hear about anything with Machado until Spring Training at the earliest. The superstar third baseman is projected by MLBTR to earn $11.2MM in arbitration next season, and the O’s control Machado through the 2018 campaign. With Machado hitting the open market at age 26, the sky is the limit for the size of a potential extension — Baltimore would likely require something north of a $250MM guarantee.
In a radio appearance with Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link), the executive VP also commented on the attention being drawn by closer Zach Britton. “There’s a lot of interest in Zach Britton. Personally, I like Zach Britton on our club, but there are teams interested,” Duquette said. Britton is also due for a hefty arbitration payday ($11.4MM) in the wake of his excellent 2016 season, and there has been speculation that the O’s could sell high on Britton now given the large demand for relief pitching this offseason. One would think it would take a pretty significant offer to pry Britton out of Baltimore, as Duquette has said both here and in prior interviews that he wants to keep the closer.
Does Duquette not realize what trading Britton could do for the team? Potentially 3-4 top 100 prospects or a very good proven Major League player and 1-2 top 100 prospects. The best move would be to trade Britton and Duquette shouldn’t even think twice about it.
O’s are not getting 3-4 top 100 or 1 very good ML player and 1-2 top 100 prospects. Unless you meant prospects with the potential to reach top 100 then yea that’s possible.
More like 1-2 top 100 prospects. Or 1 decent ML and 1 top 50 prosepct. Britton just had a historical season in terms of numbers. And he’s under team control for a couple of more years, this scenario is very realistic considering guys like chapman and Jansen are looking for contracts of upwards of 80million dollars. The time to trade him is NOW. Orioles have guys like oday and brach that could easily step in and take over the closers role. This is a no brainer, Dan might just be trying to raise his stock by his comments.
That’s a Chris Sale package, not Zach Britton.
Duquette may just be saying that he wants to keep Britton publicly, just so he doesn’t tip his hand in negotiations.
O's Fan Martinsburg
Britton has 2 yrs. remaining on his contract, Boras as his agent…… so agreed…. either sign him long term or trade him for high-end prospects since Bullpen arms are at high demand…………. ditto with Machado, 2 yrs. remaining on his contract, Boras as his agent…. either sign him long term or trade him for high-end prospects…………. bottom line, their value will never be higher.
Trading Machado right now does not make sense for the orioles. There is no immediate replacement and Machado is way too valuable, theres no real need to trade him. On the other Britton is a pitcher and health issues arise without any warning so his stock could plummet easily. Not to mention that the season he just had will be extremely difficult to replicate. The time is now to trade Britton, not soo much Machado an injury or drop in performance is much less likely.
O's Fan Martinsburg
I know it doesn’t make sense, BUT Machado has 2 yrs of club control left. He’s going to command 30+ million a year (maybe much more), which makes no sense for a middle market team like the Orioles to spend that on one player. MLB Network analysts have already predicted the Yankees will most likely sign him once he’s a free agent. I’d rather see a haul of major league ready prospects coming back in return rather than end up with a draft pick (ditto with Britton).
Dan Lozano is Manny Machado’s agent.
O's Fan Martinsburg
Oops, yeah not sure why I thought Boras was Machado’s agent…. he always seems to end up having the high profile players. Well, Lozano is set to make a good commission when Machado hits free agency.
So they say there is a hole I’m RF? How about a homecoming with Nick Markakis? Markakis + Anthony Recker for Catching prospect Cisco?
I think the braves would be willing to let Markakis go for next to nothing as far as the orioles agree to take over his hefty contract, no need to give up even a decent prospect.
The Os #1 prospect for Markakis? Hahaha. Sure, then in a separate deal the Braves give the Os Swansby for Wade Miley.
Honestly I don’t think we have forgiven DD for letting Nick go in the first place. A homecoming would be much welcomed