The Orioles made their first of what will likely be several trades over the weekend when they dealt Andrew Cashner to the Red Sox, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that closer Mychal Givens is drawing interest and is “definitely” available — a departure from recent seasons under previous front office management. The Phillies and Nationals, in particular, have interest in Givens, per the report. Obviously, a deal with the Nats would be difficult to hammer out when the two clubs continue to be embroiled in the ongoing dispute over MASN television rights fees.
Givens’ 2019 numbers are pedestrian at first glance. The right-hander’s 4.50 ERA is wholly unremarkable, and even last season’s 3.99 mark hardly generates excitement. Front offices aren’t going to put much stock in earned run average when evaluating a pitcher, however, particularly amid 2019’s home run deluge. Givens entered the season having averaged well less than a homer per nine innings pitched in his career, but he’s served up eight long balls in 36 innings in 2019. That’s led to a spike in his ERA, but it’s of some note that nine of the 18 earned runs he’s given up this year were surrendered in a combined two outings (a four-run meltdown in June and a five-run outing in May — both fueled by homers).
Looking beyond his ho-hum ERA, Givens offers a fair bit of intrigue. First and foremost, this year’s 12.8 K/9 and 34.5 percent overall strikeout rate are easily career-best marks. He’s also sporting a career-high 15.3 percent swinging-strike rate and 32 percent opponents’ chase rate on out-of-zone pitches. Givens’ 95.1 mph average fastball is right in line with his career rate, and the spin rate on that heater checks into the 77th percentile among MLB hurlers.
A rudimentary look at Givens’ splits reveals what many would expect to be the case: his home park hasn’t done him any favors. Six of the eight long ball surrendered by Givens have come at Camden Yards. On the road, opponents have managed an awful .185/.286/.315 output against him.
Digging a bit deeper, opposing hitters have posted a .350 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against Givens, but that’s almost entirely a function of the aforementioned home run issues. He’s yielded just a .217 batting average and a .304 on-base percentage thus far on the season. Based on the quality of contact he’s allowed, Statcast projects an expected wOBA of just .297 — significantly lower than the league average of .324 (excluding pitchers).
With any trade candidate, the player’s contract plays a sizable role in driving trade interest. In the case of Givens, the Orioles are in an advantageous position. He’s earning a minimal $2.15MM in 2019 and is controlled via arbitration through the 2021 season. With only about $890K of this season’s salary yet to be paid out, Givens is affordable for any contender and can also be viewed as a relatively long-term option, both of which should fuel interest between now and July 31. He may not be as appealing a trade chip as teammate Trey Mancini, but Givens is the highest-valued asset the Orioles seem decidedly likely to move.
Honestly the brewers should give everyone a look at on the pitching side. Their bullpen is absolutely hideous besides Hader
At least you have Hader
True, but he cant pitch 4 innings a night lol. They have nobody that Craig trusts to get the ball to him. Starting pitching has been pretty solid after the break but the pen blew every game. Brewers should have easily swept SF over the weekend.
Would’ve been nice to see Boston try and expand the Cashner trade to include him
I second it.
Yeah, I was slightly surprised to see the two weren’t packaged.
I hope the O’s do not sell low on Givens. There’s a next level in him and someone will most likely get a steal at this point. He obviously won’t be around long enough to see contention but we should get back a decent prospect here or I’d try to hold until his value is up again.
dimitrios in la
Very much agree. He will be very good for whomever acquires him and we should get a nice return (though what a likely package consist of at this point I do not know).
I bet this will be the Braves RP pickup lol
Better than Luke Jackson !
Selling off everything that isn’t nailed down is the modern approach, but it doesn’t do much for competitiveness. The weaker these teams make themselves through the course of the season, the greater the advantage to the playoff-hopeful opposing teams who are lucky enough to play them later. The O’s are just bad, but the same concept applies to any selling team
Selling off everything that isn’t nailed down is the modern approach, but it doesn’t do much for competitiveness.
1-It helps the long-term competitiveness. If small market teams don’t occasionally sell off and finish last, then they have no chance of ever finishing 1st. Teams like KC, TB, SD, etc., don’t and like will never have room for a $200M payroll.
2-The competitiveness of these teams were in doubt whether they sell off or not. BA & TO held onto Machado & Donaldson, and a number of smaller pieces, way, way too long. It didn’t help them. They didn’t win, and they didn’t draw in any extra fans. BA lost 464,000 tickets last year, and TO lost 879,000.
Losing Givens will have virtually no impact on BA’s 2019 competitiveness.
BAL, not BA.
I wish the twins were in on him
I think the Astros, Cubs and to a lesser extent the Braves & Padres have proven this is the way to do it though
Suffer a couple extraordinarily bad seasons and reap the rewards of high draft picks and prospect accumulation.
Only problem with Orioles is they don’t have the major league talent to trade off and accumulate top prospects from other teams.
Their only assets are a run of the mill corner OF in Mancini & an average middle reliever in Givens.
Throw in the lack of international signings throughout the years and this rebuild is going to take longer than most.
I don’t know if they would go the nba route and acquire bad contracts with a top prospect to sweeten the deal.
It’s been done before, and it should be done again. Toussaint to the Braves was in exchange for picking up Arroyo’s (?) contract. And I guess the NYMs did that with Cano.
And to me, it is a great way to even out some small/big market issues. Toronto, for example, is about $48M below their 2018 payroll. Instead of just keeping the money, and stiffing their fans, why not have them trade for Ellsbury’s contract, and have the NYY throw in a prospect worth about the remaining $35M on Ellsbury’s contract.
On the Toronto side, they get a real good prospect, with some small chance that Ellsbury comes back again. On the NYY, they get payroll relief so that they can make a trade without incurring additional penalties.
Buyer beware his salary will increase more the most relievers in arbitration due to him getting saves
I actually think he will get a higher return than mancini
All this talk of trading Givens and Means and Boom Boom smacks of Astro fans were screaming to trade Altuve (their best “chip” at the time) during the Astros rebuild.
And there’s a time-line to all this. With a decent second half, Givens’ value increases dramatically for the winter; with a good first half of 2020, it runs off the charts. Same with Means; right now he’s an oddity; mid-2020, he could get a HUGE haul (if he continues on a linear progression). There’s a gamble of course, but no balls, no blue chips.
It just isn’t easy, despite what KLAW and Baseball America says, to produce MLB quality players. Even a kid like Rautchman (sp); you’re realistically looking at a 50% of his being “meh” and a 20% chance he flops totally. As for the rebuilds in Atlanta, SD, etc.; ya, they SHOULD be OK; Lord knows it’s taken them long enough. And they ain’t won nothin’ yet. Would the Braves look so good if the Mets and Phillies hadn’t mis-fired so badly this winter? Aren’t they, at this point, just the best of a poor lot?
Bottom line, I’d be less inclined to move Givens (and Means) than most. OTOH, Mancini pretty much is who he is; him I’d be inclined to move.
Did anybody really believe the Mets were legit ?
They signed a catcher with a history of being bad to throw to
Traded for an old 2B coming of PED use
And have a team of guys all basically playing out of position
No true CF and brought in a RP that was bad his first go around with club
BVW has been a disaster since day 1 he has looked to get as many ex clients he can
The Phillies on the other hand have a horrible manager
Got news for you the Braves are legit maybe not at the Dodgers level yet but give them a legit closer & another quality starter and they are right there with them until then they are next in line with the Nats not far behind.
Nats should be serious about him
The Nats will have to offer a huge overpay for the O’s to consider their offer
The Nationals would never deal with Orioles while they are suing each other. I can’t imagine why that’s even a rumour.
Givens numbers don’t look great but he is a quality reliever with plenty of control left. Would make a great 7th or 8th inning guy and because the O’s are looking for younger talent over top prospects, more teams will be interested.
Wouldn’t mind him being a secondary acquisition for the bullpen but not the shutdown reliever we need
If he goes to the Nationals he’ll probably fall off even more, just with the luck they’ve always had with RP. He seems like a guy that would consistently put up sub 2 ERA’s if he ended up in Houston though.
Please go to the Red Sox!
All the Yankees fans
If we had anyone giving us 7 quality innings, the BP wouldn’t look half as bad. The front 3 guys are decent. But you can’t use them every day.
Please , can we get Rizzo to somehow get Mark Grace off this team? He is and has been a batting practice pitcher Geez!