The Washington Nationals are desperate for a solid late-game relief arm. Hey, the Orioles have some of those (and one who is really, really good in Zach Britton)! And if you believe everything that's passed along from apparently plugged-in MLB reporters (hint: not always a great idea), the Nationals are willing to trade prized starting pitching prospect Lucas Giolito to accomplish the task:
Apparently the Yankees are not willing to do this. But, you know, perhaps the Orioles should. The Orioles are trying to win now, and dominant relief arms are extremely important. But the O's should also be in the hunt for any kind of starting rotation help. And picking up one of the best young starters in the minors while also not trading away a young, everyday talent like Jonathan Schoop is enticing.Sources who have spoken with #Nats believe they would trade Lucas Giolito to #Yankees for Andrew Miller, straight up.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2016
Picking up Giolito but losing Britton, though, isn't a win-now move. While it definitely helps in the long run, losing Britton still hurts. And even though it would make sense to keep Giolito and hope he transforms into an ace, why not use him to trade for someone who's already an ace? That ace would be Chris Sale.
As they should, the White Sox are asking for a ridiculous amount in return for Sale. If they were somehow able to land Giolito, the O's would be able to put together a competitive package for the... let's say, eccentric lefty. By offering Giolito and then two or three of the team's top prospects -- Chance Sisco, Cody Sedlock, Jomar Reyes, Ryan Mountcastle, etc. -- the O's would have a shot to land one of the very best starters in the game.
By doing so, Sale would headline a rotation that immediately doesn't make you shake your head in frustration:
Regardless of what you think of Bundy's usage, that's a very intriguing and talented crop of pitchers (minus Gallardo). And the best thing about acquiring Sale, besides him being outstanding, is that he's under team control through 2019 for extremely reasonable terms: $12M in 2017, $12.5M option for 2018, and $13.5M club option for 2019. I mean, that's Ubaldo Jimenez money!
Will this actually happen? Of course not. The O's aren't going to trade Britton in the middle of a pennant race, though it will make sense to explore a Britton trade during the offseason. Still, you could kinda, sorta imagine it happening. And it's at least interesting, right?