This offseason, it might be natural for the Orioles to at least explore the trade markets for All-Star closer Zach Britton and third baseman Manny Machado, a pair of superstar talents with two years of club control left.
With relievers drawing premium talent via trade and in line for major contracts, and with generational talents rarely available in trades, some believe the Orioles would be well served to at least see if there’s an offer out there that they can’t refuse.
That hasn’t happened, executive vice president Dan Duquette said. And they don’t come up in discussions because Duquette doesn’t let them.
“There’s always interest in your best players, but I don’t really talk about our best players in trade talks because people take that the wrong way,” Duquette said. “They don’t take it the way that it’s intended to be, and that is we like this player on our team and we’re putting our team together with them on the team.
"As soon as they’re mentioned in a trade discussion, it’s always a team is marketing him. We’re putting together our team around our closer and our best everyday ballplayer.”
Machado is coming off another career year in his age-23 season, batting .294/.343/.533 while setting career highs with 37 home runs and 96 RBIs. Britton converted all 47 of his save opportunities and posted a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances. Britton finished fourth in the American League Cy Young voting, and 11th in the Most Valuable Player voting. Machado finished fifth in MVP voting.
“We have some real good core players on our roster,” Duquette said. “They had great years, and we consider them core players. We’re looking to put our team together around those core players. We’re trying to assemble our team with all those core players.”