Orioles and Rockies Discussing Trade For Huston Street

According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Baltimore Orioles are discussing a trade with the Colorado Rockies that would net them closer Huston Street.

Baltimore featured the fourth-worst bullpen in all of baseball last season with a collective 4.31 FIP. It featured the headache that is Kevin Gregg as closer, as well as such stalwarts as Jeremy Accardo, Brad Bergesen, and Chris Jakubauskas. The only true bright spots were right-handers Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, and Koji Uehara — and, even then, Uehara and his 2.56 FIP were traded to Texas prior to the deadline.

Obviously, the Orioles have a weakness in the bullpen. That’s not even up for discussion. But after going 69-93 last season and finishing 28 games behind the first-place Yankees, why the hell is Baltimore targeting a closer that will cost a significant amount in terms of prospects and only has one or two years (depending on the player option) remaining on the contract?

Huston Street is a good, but not elite, closer. He owns a career 3.09 FIP and was victimized last season by a career-high 14.5% HR/FB, which caused his overall earned run average to balloon to almost 4.00. Any potential suitor should be concerned that his velocity dropped 1.2 MPH in 2011 — which also happened in 2007, when Street spent time on the DL with elbow problems — but the talent is undeniably there.

The point, however, is not whether or not Huston Street is worth acquiring as a closer. It’s whether or not the Baltimore Orioles should move young talent to trade for a reliever with a maximum of two years remaining on his contract.

The answer is clearly negative.

Baltimore should be building for the future. Each league now has two Wild Card spots available, which should shine a beacon of hope into the netherworld of the AL East, but new GM Dan Duquette must fully understand that the team is more than two years away from serious postseason contention.

Resources should be diverted to acquire and cultivate young talent that can presumably reach the majors with Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, and even Jonathan Schoop. That is not to say the current crop of youngsters in Baltimore is useless and will not produce winning seasons, but the rebuilding project did not develop as previously hoped, particularly on the pitching mound.

This is not just about the lunacy of acquiring a proven closer in an attempt to build toward a postseason run in 2012 after a 69-win season, though. Go ahead and do it. Instead, this is about potentially trading away young talent. If the Baltimore Orioles really desire a closer to anchor their bullpen, sign Francisco Rodriguez, Francisco Cordero, or even Frank Francisco. Heck, even pony up the cash and sign Ryan Madson.

Just don’t consider trading away young talent for a player that will only impact the big league team for such a short period of time. It makes such little sense in terms of organizational development for the future.

Sure, this trade may never come to fruition, but the fact that the Orioles and Rockies have even been discussing this potential trade for weeks is ludicrous on Baltimore’s part. Dan Duquette would be starting off his tenure on such the wrong foot that he might as well take two steps back before trying to take three steps forward in the first place.

They say, “Don’t kick a man while he’s down.” Well, don’t kick yourself while you’re down either.



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J.P. Breen is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. For analysis on the Brewers and fantasy baseball, you can follow him on Twitter (@JP_Breen).


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Brandon Warne
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

The O’s need a closer about as bad as say, the Twins.

Boogeyman
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Boogeyman
4 years 6 months ago

Dan Duquette. He scare me.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
4 years 6 months ago

With Derrick Lee at first and Mark Reynolds at third they need way more than a closer.

Tripp Eason
Member
Tripp Eason
4 years 6 months ago

The Os traded Lee to the Pirates in July.

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
4 years 6 months ago

Meh. If they can pick up Street cheaply now and flip him at the trade deadline to some team that’ll inevitably be desperate for relief help, that may turn out to be a beneficial trade. Of course, it’s easier to do that with someone who doesn’t have the “proven closer” tag yet (for instance, George Sherrill a few years ago), but there’s no harm in talking about a trade.

Brandon Warne
Guest
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest Street would come cheaply.

Karl Jungus
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Karl Jungus
4 years 6 months ago

And where’s the evidence that the O’s are offering a prospect package (or prospect, singular) for Street?

Bill
Guest
Bill
4 years 6 months ago

The reasons you gave are possible reasons for reaching into the grab bag mentioned at the end of the article, but not reasons to trade for Street. There is a possibility that he will be less valuable come July than he is today. Grab one of the Francisco’s and and give him a bunch of meaningless saves, then flip him for prospects. This is a nearly a no risk proposition.

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
4 years 6 months ago

Hey, I’m not saying it’s a good idea. But I acknowledge the possibility that it’s something better than a terrible idea.

Scott
Member
Member
Scott
4 years 6 months ago

*Koji Uehara is a righty.

Detroit Michael
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Detroit Michael
4 years 6 months ago

If Baltimore signed Ryan Madson, I am confident there would be a post on Fangraphs within 24 hours soundly criticizing that move.

Karl Jungus
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Karl Jungus
4 years 6 months ago

If this article is any indicator, there would be a post condemning the move as soon as the rumor hit the tweetosphere.

cable fixer
Guest
cable fixer
4 years 6 months ago

you’re assuming he gets 4/44. poor madson. i wonder if he’ll even get 3/30…

Bill
Guest
Bill
4 years 6 months ago

Yes, there would be, but that’s not the point. Signing Madson would be terrible just like signing Gregg last year was terrible. However, a team in Baltimore’s position can throw money away with fewer consequences than they can when they throw prospects away.

B N
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B N
4 years 6 months ago

Firstly, it would be within 24 minutes more likely. Secondly, it would be well-deserved. Teams not in competition have no need to blow big money or prospects on closers. Given that the O’s are expected to be the worst team in their division, and three teams are expected to win about 20 more games than them… why?

The weirdest thing is the Rockies trading a closer in this situation too. It’s not like the NL West is unwinnable for them. They’re maybe middle of the pack. So it’s not like Street should possibly come cheap- he should be worth more to the Rockies than to the O’s, because he increases their chances of hitting the postseason more…

closedcasket
Member
closedcasket
4 years 6 months ago

When will they learn that throwing money at relievers is the wrong way to build a bullpen?

jcxy
Guest
jcxy
4 years 6 months ago

there are reasons to kick the tires of any blue chip pitcher, right?

as a commodity, street should hold his value through the 2013 trade deadline in a way that minor league contract pump and dumps potentially don’t. of course, i’m assuming that the days of getting the dodgers premier prospects for relievers and utility players at the deadline are over.

street would also pay the team a dividend in the time before his trade by providing (desperately) needed bullpen help as well.

it all comes down to what the asking price is, which, for all the above reasons, will probably be unjustifiably high for a team trying to win 75 games next year.

Jon
Guest
Jon
4 years 6 months ago

It seems odd to skewer the Orioles for a deal that not only hasn’t happened, but hasn’t even progressed to the point where we know the players involved. Sure, if they trade Schoop for Street, skewer away. But what if the deal is Kyle Hudson for Street + salary relief?

I know the Orioles have been an easy target for a long time, but maybe let them do stupid stuff before calling them stupid.

Brendan
Guest
Brendan
4 years 6 months ago

Who knows what the price for Street is? Certainly no information has been given as to what the asking price is in this article. So, I’m not sure how something can be criticized without having any context at all. Also, who’s to say the Orioles won’t also sign one of the other relievers mentioned in this article?

There aren’t even really any conclusions reached in this article beyond the vague “they should devote more resources to acquiring and developing players.” Coincidentally, Duquette has made such a pursuit a top priority this offseason, beefing up Baltimore’s international scouting department by adding 10 scouts and a scouting director with a pretty solid international track record, and trying to bring the minor league system up-to-date in terms of technology and methodology. Though why mention these things when one can simply throw out some FIPs and assume the Orioles poor recent run will justify vague prescriptions?

This seemed like low-hanging fruit.

Pants
Guest
Pants
4 years 6 months ago

Gregg for Street?

That would be lovely. I would also accept Reynolds or Davis for him. Maybe even Markakis for Street plus a prospect.

I think Dan Duquette was put on this earth to help make me die young.

FractalRock
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FractalRock
4 years 6 months ago

Where’s the contempt for Josh Byrnes?

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