Baltimore Orioles vice president Dan Duquette has had a fairly busy first two days at the MLB Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland.
Duquette has stated that Orioles’ relievers are drawing interest but does not seem adamant on moving a major piece.
“We want to keep that strength intact,” Duquette said while meeting with local media.
“There’s a lot of interest in our bullpen because it’s a good bullpen and that’s been one of the staples of the team, so we want to keep that strength intact. But we do have some good solid relievers.”
The Orioles have reportedly spoken to several teams including the New York Mets about reliever Brad Brach.
Brach, a Freehold New Jersey native, was 10-4 with a 2.05 ERA in 71 appearances out of the bullpen last season with the Orioles. Brach was used primarily in a setup role for the O’s with right-handed reliever Darren O’Day on the disabled list.
In return for Brach, the Orioles have looked at multiple outfielders including Mets’ Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce.
The Orioles prefer Granderson over Bruce but are hesitant because of the $15 million Granderson is owed this year, the final year of his four-year contract. A deal could certainly be made by between the two clubs but it is reported that the Orioles are unwilling to pay the entire $15 million that Granderson is owed.
The sum is certainly a large one especially when the Orioles need to sign a catcher. On the other hand, Brach has been a gem for the Orioles at a low cost. The right-hander is only supposed to make $2.9 million next season.
The deal certainly makes sense but it may take more than just Brach and Granderson to get done. The O’s could ask for money to compensate the $15 million owed to Granderson in 2017. If so, the Mets could counter with wanting a prospect.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are not willing to eat any of the money Granderson is owed. As of right now, there is no match.
If the Orioles and Mets can make the deal work, it would seem to be beneficial to both teams. The Mets will be picking up a reliever essential to their bullpen depth and the Orioles would be filling a primary need in the outfield.
The Orioles also have plenty of bullpen depth with a healthy Darren O’Day and Mychal Givens that they may feel moving Brach won’t affect their pen that much.
Granderson, who will be 26 next Opening Day, has struggled over his last three seasons hitting .241. The good thing is that Granderson has played in 150-plus games in each of those seasons.
Whether or not the Orioles get a deal done with Granderson is still unknown but for a lefty bat and a reasonable price, the deal certainly makes sense.