NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It is a good question. Which young pitcher or pitchers would the Orioles be most likely to trade for a hitter and which pitcher or pitchers are most sought after by other clubs?
I would guess any of the young pitchers could be had for the right player. Outside of Dylan Bundy, is there any O’s pitcher that is completely off limits? Doubtful.
As for what the other teams like, the beauty there is in the eye of the beholder. Brian Matusz may appeal more to one team because they think he could start or relieve. Another might be in love with Jake Arrieta’s raw stuff. A third could be enamored with Zach Britton’s power sinker.
Of course in this sport a player’s value or perceived value can change quickly. Chris Tillman and Matusz’s value is on the rise while Arrieta’s fell with a 6.20 ERA. There are always clubs that seem convinced that they can unlock the key to success for a young player still trying to find it.
Here is the current service time for some young O’s pitchers by year and days.
2.156 - Brian Matusz
2.066 - Jake Arrieta
1.117 - Zach Britton
1.113 - Chris Tillman
0.056 - Steve Johnson
Of that group, Matusz is the only one currently arbitration-eligible and that matters to teams. The sooner a player is arbitration eligible, the sooner their pay rate begins to climb. Most players are not eligible for arbitration until after their third full year, but some do get Super Two status and can reach the arbitration stage before three full years.
Also, Tillman is out of options and that is a factor in deals, as well.
It will be interesting to see if we get some indication about which young pitcher or pitchers are most sought by other clubs.