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Instant analysis of Orioles trading closer Zach Britton to Yankees

The Baltimore Sun

Eduardo A. Encina, Orioles beat writer: In less than a week, the Orioles have traded their best player in Manny Machado and the organization’s longest-tenured player in Zach Britton. The rebuild is real, people. The Orioles played up a robust market for Britton and netted a return better than two other rental deals for relievers — what the Kansas City Royals received for Kelvin Herrera and what the New York Mets netted for Jeurys Familia. The Orioles have received eight prospects for Machado and Britton, including four pitchers, all at the Double-A level or above. This addresses the organization’s need for depth in the high minors. Whether the trades will work out in the Orioles’ favor remains to be seen, but at first glance, the return appears to be promising. And given the needs the Orioles have, the Yankees have always been a fit because of their pitching depth. While it will be difficult for Orioles fans to see Britton pitching in pinstripes for one of the best bullpens ever assembled, it was wise to partner with the Evil Empire, if just this one time.

Jon Meoli, Orioles beat writer: In trading Zach Britton to the Yankees, the Orioles showed they're not terribly concerned with the short-term in the sense of divisional rivalries or the pettiness that comes with it. This is a baseball move, and continues the Orioles' trend of trying to restock their high minors and shorten their rebuilding runway. Whether it works out is another story, but it's indicative of what they're looking for. No player they've acquired in either this trade or the Manny Machado deal is more than two years away from the majors, should they continue on their current paths. The Orioles are forgoing some of the more intriguing high-ceiling players teams have in their low minors, which is a little frustrating, but there's no denying they're sticking with a plan. This is one step in what they expect to be a lengthy process.

Josh Land, Orioles editor: Zach Britton has been a critical part of the Orioles bullpen’s success since 2012, and his historic 2016 performance will almost certainly lock up a spot in the club’s Hall of Fame. But after two years of injuries, his greatest value right now was to aid in a rebuild. And he did just that, in the process depleting the Yankees’ prospect-rich farm system. Dillon Tate is a nice addition, and drawing a three-prospect haul for the former All-Star continues to build the club’s farm depth after the five-player return for Manny Machado.

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