Grading Baltimore’s Return on Zach Britton Trade

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 27: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 27: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Baltimore Orioles
BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 09: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches during game one of a doubleheader baseball game against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles won 5-4. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The hot stove heated up rather quickly on Tuesday night, as Baltimore Orioles’ reliever Zach Britton was dealt to the New York Yankees. While Britton beefs up an already-stacked Yankees’ bullpen, what should be made of Baltimore’s return?

After sending the biggest fish on the market (Manny Machado) to Los Angeles, the Baltimore Orioles’ continued their rebuilding efforts by sending reliever Zach Britton to the New York Yankees, per Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports.

In return, the Orioles’ landed three minor-leaguers.

The move does two things right away. First and foremost, the Yankees’ strengthen what was already arguably the game’s best bullpen. For Baltimore, the organization lands three solid arms that have the the potential to be impact players at the MLB-level.

Britton is the latest domino to fall in the relief pitching market, with Brad Hand, Adam Cimber, Kelvin Herrera and Jeurys Familia all finding new homes within the last few weeks.

One aspect of a Britton deal always figured to be the most-discussed: the return.

Hand and Cimber fetched Francisco Mejia, the Indians’ No. 1 prospect and a top-catching talent. Familia, though, brought back a less than inspiring package.

That wasn’t all his fault, as most of the problem lay within the Mets’ front-office. But, that’s a story for another day (or year).

Of the three, Tate is the clear centerpiece. The No. 4 pick in the 2015 MLB draft, Tate came to the Yankees in the 2016 Carlos Beltran trade with Houston.

He’s had an up-and-down professional career, but he’s put together a 2018 campaign worthy of recognition with a 3.38 ERA, 0.8 HR/9 and 1.113 WHIP across 82.2 innings in Double-A.

Scouts aren’t totally sure whether or not he’ll end up as a starter or reliever, but one thing is certain; his four-pitch arsenal is something teams have coveted.

For the O’s, they’re getting someone who will likely make their impact as soon as next season. Tate is already 24, and his season in Double-A should encourage Baltimore’s higher-ups. All things considered, getting him for a rental of Britton is a great get.

Cody Carroll was the Yankees’ 15th best prospect, according to MLB.com’s rankings. For most organizations, Carroll would have found himself ranked higher. But, New York’s system remains one of the games best.

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The 25-year-old Carroll has been stellar in Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre with a 2.38 ERA, .184 BAA and 11.9 K/9. He profiles as a power reliever or closer, with strong strikeout stuff.

But, his control has been a problem (18 BB in 41.2 innings), and surely will need to be tamed before he achieves success at the top.

His potential as a high-end reliever is certainly tantalizing (2.67 career ERA in minors), and there’s reason to be excited.

Like Tate, Carroll should see the majors rather quickly, as Baltimore will want to see what they have with its young talent as a rebuild gets underway.

The final prospect included in the deal, Josh Rogers represents the wild-card of the bunch.

Rogers, who wasn’t ranked in New York’s top-30 list, has been praised for consistent walk to strikeout rates, as Sweeny Murti mentioned.

Through his first four levels in pro ball the lefty has crafted a fantastic 3.16 ERA and 1.8 BB/9. He’ll most likely be a starter in the major leagues, as all 19 of his appearances this year have been as a starter.

Next: What Should the Phillies Do?

If you’re the Baltimore Orioles, you have to be happy with return on the 30-year-old Britton. What boxes aren’t filled? Controllable, young, high-floor pitching prospects? Check. Getting rid of a soon-to-be free agent? Got that.

While the Dodgers or Astros could have made compelling offers for the reliever, the Yankees’ package gave the O’s three arms with high upside and the chance to play now.

If anything, the O’s took three prospects away from an AL East rival. Check (with a smirk).