The Astros were on the verge of acquiring relief pitcher Zach Britton from the Orioles at the trade deadline last year, but the deal fell through because of medical questions surrounding the prospects involved. Perhaps the two teams are ready to try again.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Astros remain interested in Britton heading into this year’s trade deadline. There were rumblings a year ago that the failed deal was more about Houston’s refusal to part ways with top prospects and less about failed physicals, but it’s possible those negotiations gave the Astros and O’s a good starting point.
Britton made his 2018 debut earlier this month after he missed time with a torn Achilles, and he has allowed just one hit and no runs in four appearances. He also missed much of last season with an arm injury, but he has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the past several years when healthy.
Some believe Orioles owner Peter Angelos discouraged his front office from trading Britton and other top players last season, but it sounds like his stance has changed with his team toting baseball’s worst record this year.
The Baltimore Orioles are going nowhere this year, and the quickest way they can stock up their farm system is by trading Manny Machado. In order for them to do that, ownership has to give upper management the green light.
Orioles owner Peter Angelos and his sons, John and Louis, have a history of nixing trades. Machado is by far the team’s best player, so there has been some talk that they will do the same with the star third baseman at the trade deadline. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, that is not expected to happen.
The biggest hurdle in a potential Manny Machado deal – the ownership hurdle – may be close to being cleared, according to those in the know. If so, the chances for a deal for the superstar infielder would be near 100 percent. Orioles ownership, which now includes Peter Angelos’ sons John and Louis, according to one team source will “probably” sign off on a deal after years of blocking deals (i.e. Zach Britton last year). Meanwhile, the derby is said to be heating up.
At 21-52, the Orioles have the worst record in baseball. Machado is only 25, but he is set to become a free agent this summer and will compete with Bryce Harper for the richest contract in MLB history. It makes more sense for Baltimore to hit the reset button at this point than to commit an unprecedented amount of money to one player.
Teams will almost certainly want Machado to commit to signing a long-term deal before they give up top minor league talent for him, and there has been talk that he’s willing to do that for at least one potential trade partner.
The Baltimore Orioles could be a landing spot for free agent Hanley Ramirez.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Orioles have discussed signing Ramirez, though their level of interest is not clear.
#Orioles have explored possibility of signing Hanley Ramirez, sources tell The Athletic. Level of interest unclear. Also unclear: How Hanley would fit on roster with C. Davis, Trumbo and Alvarez. Duquette signed Hanley originally for #RedSox.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 2, 2018
As Rosenthal notes, it would be a move that doesn’t make a ton of sense on the surface. The Orioles are awash in first base/designated hitter types, which is where Ramirez would fit. Maybe they think they could get his bat going and flip him at the trade deadline without the salary obligations hanging around his neck.
Ramirez will probably find a job soon. After all, even the Red Sox were a bit surprised to find themselves letting him go.
The Orioles could wind up losing two of their best players in free agency this summer, but one of them just bought a very expensive home in Baltimore. That has to be a positive sign, right?
Cal Ripken Jr. recently sold his 25-acre estate in Reisterstown, Md., at an auction, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that longtime Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones is the one who bought it. Fans in Baltimore might think an O’s legend selling his house to Jones means Jones intends to stay in the area in 2019 and beyond, but sources told Rosenthal that is not the case.
Jones bought Ripken’s home at auction for a fraction of its original listing price of $12.5 million, according to sources. But the transaction, which is not yet final, will have no bearing on Jones’ future in Baltimore.
While Jones, 32, is a free agent at the end of the season, he bought the Ripken estate mainly as an investment, not because he is on the verge of signing with the Orioles long-term, sources said.
Jones, who is in the final year of a six-year, $85.5 million contract, also buys and sells homes for investment purposes in other cities.
Ripken’s estate was originally listed for $12.5 million in September 2016, and the last price seen was $9.75 million. Perhaps Jones determined that the investment was too good to pass up.
Jones is 32 and was hitting .259 as of Thursday, which would be the lowest mark of his 10-plus seasons with the Orioles. However, he has been one of the most consistent and durable players in baseball for several years now. Jones has hit 25 or more home runs and driven in over 100 runs in each of the past seven seasons, so he should be able to land a hefty contract next winter.
Since they are currently one of the worst teams in baseball, it would not be a surprise if the Orioles held a fire sale at the trade deadline. Manny Machado has already been linked to several other teams, and Baltimore is clearly in need of a total rebuild. Jones may not be on the roster come August.
We’re over a month into the 2018 Major League Baseball season, and we’re starting to get some ideas about who is good and who is bad. Of course, there is plenty of precedent for slow starters coming on strong as the months go on, and those who are quick out of the gates fading as we head into August.
Still, there’s no disputing that there have been a large amount of disappointments so far. All of them have time to reverse the trend and get better. For now, here are ten major disappointments from the first month-plus of the 2018 MLB season.
1) Los Angeles Dodgers
Without a doubt, the Dodgers are the biggest disappointment in baseball through the first month of the season. Yes, there are injuries involved that are beyond their control, but this goes well beyond that. Their only .300-hitting regular is Matt Kemp, who wasn’t even really in the team’s plans this season. Clayton Kershaw has one win despite a 2.86 ERA. Kenley Jansen hasn’t been his usual self closing games. It’s hard to see where these issues can be fixed, and they’ve already fallen eight games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Dylan Bundy made history on Tuesday night, but not the good kind.
Bundy allowed four home runs and seven runs total without recording an out in his start against the Kansas City Royals. He went single, homer, homer, homer, walk, walk, homer and then was replaced.
FOUR homers, TEN runs.
— MLB (@MLB) May 8, 2018
The Royals put up three more on reliever Mike Wright Jr. in the first to take an astounding 10-0 lead in the top of the first inning. As you would expect, the Twitter reactions towards Bundy and the Orioles were not kind.
This could be a historically bad season for the Baltimore Orioles.
In 1988, the Orioles endured their worst season as a franchise. They started 0-21 and finished the season 54-107, setting a team record for losses. 30 years later, the Orioles could be on the way to an even worse season.
After a 2-1 loss to the Oakland A’s on Sunday, the Orioles are now 8-26 through their first 34 games of this season. As pointed out by Steve Melewski of MASN Sports, if Baltimore continues at their current pace, they would finish the season with an astounding 124 losses.
With a record of 8-26 and win percentage of .235, the Orioles at that pace, would finish 38-124. Club record for losses is 107 in 1988.
— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) May 7, 2018
To say it has been a rough start for the Orioles would be an understatement. They are tied with the Reds for the worst record in the majors. Baltimore’s -72 run differential is the worst in Major League Baseball.
Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner, two offseason additions that were intended to bolster the starting rotation, have provided less-than-stellar results thus far. The offense has been nonexistent most games. And, to make matters worse, there is the very real possibility Manny Machado could finish the season wearing the uniform of another team. The Orioles likely won’t be 38-wins bad, but if things don’t turn around it could be a very long summer in Baltimore.