Colorado Rockies: A trade proposal to acquire closer Zach Britton

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Zach Britton
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Zach Britton /

The Colorado Rockies will have a tough time convincing 2017 closer Greg Holland to return in 2018. As a result, they should look into how they may acquire Baltimore Orioles ninth-inning man Zach Britton.

Who will earn the bulk of the saves for the 2018 Colorado Rockies? The surprisingly strong bullpen last season lost Greg Holland, Jake McGee, and Pat Neshek to free agency. It’s unlikely all three decide to return.

So, to avoid the beginning of another playoff drought, the Rockies must do what they can to rebuild what was a strength for them last season. This may require them to make a big trade and solidify the closer role. One of the rumored pitchers on the trade market is Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton. Thankfully, for Colorado, they may have exactly what the Orioles desire.

The Rockies have two choices to make this winter in finding a closer. They can spend money on one of several quality arms. Along with Holland, Wade Davis is a free agent.

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It’s doubtful either would choose to play for the Rockies as the decision to play for Colorado would damage their ERAs. One can say Holland only joined them last year because they threw the best contract at him.

Britton wouldn’t have the same luxury to choose where he plays. The Orioles can trade him wherever they’d like. The Rockies may not be the best place for him to pitch, but they could give the Orioles what they need most.

Next winter is a rough one for Baltimore. Britton, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado are all free agents. This leaves them with several holes at the organization’s core. While Colorado can’t fix their need to replace Britton, they can at least give the Orioles another infielder.

The Rockies need to go after a World Series next year. Their window is closing with their own big name free agents after next season. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu each enter 2018 on the last year of their contracts. To avoid wasting what may end up as their final season in Colorado, the Rockies need to sacrifice in another area. This means trading shortstop Trevor Story.

Story had an impactful 2016 season, which began by slugging a couple of home runs against Zack Greinke in his MLB debut. The 2017 season wasn’t nearly as special with Story struggling at the plate for much of the season. Despite these struggles, Story still showed off his power and played some really good defense.

But why would the Orioles want Story?

He struck out a lot and they already have the left side of their infield secure. Machado will remain for at least the first half of 2018. Shortstop Tim Beckham also hit very well after he was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Looking beyond 2018, there’s a fit for Story. Even next season, there’s no telling how Beckham will perform. One solid half doesn’t equal continued success.

The Rockies can afford to trade Story at this point. Top prospect Brendan Rodgers is knocking on the door and not someone the Rockies should hold back. In this hypothetical situation, Ryan McMahon may even push Ian Desmond away from first base back to shortstop for a chunk of 2018.

Of course, one year of Britton for several of Story may not be the most appealing deal for the Orioles.

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However, if we take the Wade Davis for Jorge Soler trade into account, it may not cost the Colorado Rockies much more. At least Story has proven he can hit at the big league level. Soler never did so before the Royals gave up one of the game’s best closers for him.