BY DILLON ATKINSON, @DAtkinsonOU
On Monday, July 31, the 4:00pm ET non-waiver trade deadline was nearing, as reports were circling that Orioles closer Zach Britton may or may not be traded. Ultimately, the Orioles did not move their closer, and many fans have wondered what happened. Were teams not actually offering a lot? Was the Orioles asking price too high? Did the Orioles become stubborn and just decide to buy instead?
Well Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network gave us the full inside scoop on Wednesday night, and this just doesn't sound great for the Orioles at all. Also worth noting that FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported earlier Thursday that there was indeed a deal in place for the Astros to acquire Britton but it got vetoed by ownership.
Rosenthal, unfortunately still having to write from his Facebook page, dove into the drama below. The following is a short introduction to his piece, but you may expand it to read the entire entry by clicking "See More."
So I just wanted to take some time and share my thoughts about each piece of information that Rosenthal shared that I felt is worth being briefly discussed. So let's get to it.
1. Astros refused to part with top assets
The Orioles were already aiming for an Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman-type prospect haul for Britton. They may have been okay with coming down from those expectations by a little bit, but the Astros made six-to-seven prospects untouchable? That's tough to make a deal right off the bat then, however we don't know which specific prospects were "off-limits."
2. Nah, we're good
So you went almost the entire day entertaining offers for Britton, trying to make a deal, then ultimately decide one hour prior to the deadline that you're not going to trade him no matter what? Nothing like a good ole "Thanks for wasting my time!"
3. The Cubs wanted Britton, but only on Sunday.
So basically here, the Cubs wanted to make a deal by Sunday to make sure that they didn't lose out on both Britton and Justin Wilson. Can't hate the strategy. Also can't hate the Orioles decision, seeing that that they wanted to field more offers, ones that wouldn't come until Monday.
4. The Orioles are ghosting teams?
I'm not a Major League Baseball team owner. I'm not a general manager. I have zero experience working in a front office. But I would think that it's not a good strategy if you have a bad reputation of going "dark" on teams for multiple hours in the middle of negotiations leading up to a trade deadline. Why would any team want to negotiate a trade with you at any point? This is kind of embarrassing, really.
5. Here come the Orioles and their medicals again
My first thought here is that while it's annoying that the Orioles have a reputation for having strict medical examinations on players they're looking to acquire, it has always worked. So I can't blame them too much if they vetoed a deal because of the medical reports.
However, if the Astros offered a new package of players that represent the same value as the previously agreed upon deal, then perhaps this had nothing to do with medicals whatsoever and it was just a deal that Peter Angelos wasn't okay with making. Who knows...
Things we may not hear about are which Astros prospects were untouchable and which prospects had questionable medical reports. But the one thing that sticks out to me the most here is the Orioles bad reputation for going "dark" on teams in negotiations. This isn't a thing that has just happened once or twice here and there, but being known for doing this to multiple clubs is just stuff you don't want to read as an Orioles fan. Why would anybody want to do business, while racing against the clock leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, with a team that is known for just not responding in the middle of negotiations? It's a very strange strategy by the Orioles that makes me concerned as a fan.