The Orioles probably regret not trading Zach Britton to the Astros last year as he has missed time with various injuries. Here is their second chance.
Last year at the trade deadline, the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles tried to reach a deal for closer Zach Britton. It was reportedly nixed due to health concerns surrounding Colin Moran, and maybe another player included. For whatever reason, the Orioles backed out of the rumored agreed trade. Be glad this trade didn’t go through because they may not have traded for Justin Verlander and Colin Moran was part of the Gerrit Cole trade.
There were several prospects the Astros refused to trade last season, which is why many people felt the trade fell through. According to Jon Heyman, “Forrest Whitley, Francis Martes, Derek Fisher, Kyle Tucker or Yordan Alvarez” were never included in the nixed deal. The Astros untouchable prospect is not as large as it was in 2017, with only Tucker, Whitley, and Alvarez on that list.
Others could be on the list, such as J.B. Bukaukas, Seth Beer, and Myles Straw. Martes is injured at the moment, so the Orioles are probably not interested in him. The Orioles probably coveted Fisher last year, so what has changed 12 months later? Yes, he is still in Triple-A after a slow start and a mysterious stomach issue that landed him on the DL.
The Astros are a World Series contender.
They don’t have the luxury of carrying someone struggling to hit. This is not the time to discuss Tucker’s struggles, be patient with him. “Captain Red Beard,” aka Moran, is producing with more playing time in Pittsburgh. With an extended look, Fisher could have success in the big leagues. The same can be said for AJ Reed and Tyler White.
In 76 at-bats, Fisher hit four homers while batting .176. Jake Marisnick is in Triple-A as well for not producing. In Fresno, Fisher is batting .261 with eight homers and 27 RBI. Fisher is still 24 years old with a lot of room to grow. He still has high trade value despite graduating from the prospect lists. Fisher will never have to buy a beer again in Houston after scoring the winning run in Game 5 of the World Series.
Could Fisher be the main piece of the trade?
While the Orioles are looking for young pitchers, Fisher could be the headlining piece of the trade. With all the Britton to the Astros chatter, you can imagine that the two teams are trying to agree on the prospects. MLB Network suggested Fisher and Corbin Martin a while back for Britton. The Astros have the depth in the farm system to make the deal for the right price.
It would be ironic if the Orioles did trade for Fisher because he was drafted with the Orioles competitive balance pick in 2014. That pick was part of the Bud Norris trade along with Josh Hader and L.J. Hoes. We discussed Fisher on last night’s Talking Stros along with what it would take to get Britton. The Astros seemed determined to get Britton, and they normally get their guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the main target this year.