Orioles reliever Mychal Givens has reportedly drawn interest from the Phillies and Nationals leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. The Indians, Braves and Dodgers are also among the clubs in on Givens, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes (subscription link).
With two-plus years’ team control remaining and a $2.15MM salary, Givens stands out as one of the Orioles’ strongest trade chips. Considering the Orioles are caught in what figures to be a long rebuild, it’ll be a surprise if they don’t part with Givens soon. Unfortunately for the Orioles, though, the 29-year-old right-hander hasn’t enjoyed as productive a season as he did over the previous four campaigns.
Through 38 1/3 innings this year, Givens has pitched to an unspectacular 4.23 ERA/4.63 FIP with eight saves on 13 tries and a weak 39.1 percent groundball rate. A large number of the fly balls Givens has surrendered have left the yard, evidenced by his bloated 22.9 percent fly ball rate. That said, Givens has been a lot steadier since his ERA was pushing 6.00 at the end of May. He has also fanned a career-high 12.21 batters per nine (against 3.99 walks), posted a personal-high 15.2 percent swinging-strike rate and kept his 95 mph velocity intact.
As for the the just-reported teams eyeing Givens, interest from the Indians isn’t anything new. They went after Givens last summer, but Baltimore elected to hold him. The Indians’ bullpen has been among the majors’ most effective this year, in part because of lights-out closer Brad Hand. There has been speculation about the Indians trading Hand, but considering their red-hot run, it seems the playoff hopefuls are more interested in adding to their bullpen than subtracting from it.
The bullpens of the Dodgers and Braves – the NL’s two leading teams – haven’t been as successful as the Indians’. Los Angeles and Atlanta have been linked to multiple trade candidate relievers as a result. In addition to Givens, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles seems to be a Braves target. Meanwhile, the Giants’ key relievers (Will Smith, Sam Dyson, Reyes Moronta), Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez, Tigers closer Shane Greene Royals lefty Jake Diekman have all been rumored to the Dodgers during their wide-ranging search for late-game aid.