Givens has thrown 336 innings across parts of six seasons with the Orioles and has amassed a 3.32 career ERA (he’s sporting a cool 1.38 ERA this year) and struck out just shy of 11 hitters per nine (roughly 33% K%) during that time. His strikeout rate has climbed each of the last two years as Givens increased the usage of his changeup, which had previously been a distant tertiary pitch behind his fastball and a slider.
Givens falls somewhere in the Rockies late-inning pecking order currently occupied by Daniel Bard, hard-throwing Carlos Estevez, and Yency Almonte, who is having an improved second season by throwing more sliders and a lot more strikes. The rest of the Rockies bullpen is questionable. Tyler Kinley has great stuff but also has command issues, and Jairo Diaz‘s fastball has lost two ticks from last year. The club could still use another lefty relief piece (or it could promote Ben Bowden from within) but for now they have enough big late-inning arms to get through three or four frames of a close game.
As talented as Givens is, Colorado did give up quite a bit here. Givens’ market seemed robust, which makes sense because he’s been consistently good for half a decade and still has a whole year of control remaining. The best prospect sent to Baltimore was middle infielder Terrin Vavra, an undersized 23-year-old with a full-body swing that he’s athletic enough to control. Vavra is a bat-first prospect who walked as much as he struck out in 2019, his first pro season. That performance has to be discounted a bit because he was a 22-year-old college hitter playing at Low-A, and it’s kind of scary to know that Vavra will be 24 next May and not have accumulated any upper-level experience whatsoever, but he’s the kind of hitter who becomes Joey Wendle, or Aaron Hill, or the high-contact infielder of your choice.
Tyler Nevin is also headed to Baltimore. The 23-year-old corner infielder is a career .286/.362/.441 hitter in the minors. I don’t think he has enough power to be an everyday first baseman, and I don’t think he has the lateral agility to play third base every day, but I do think Nevin will hit enough to play a substantial part-time role based largely on his feel for contact.
Both Vavra and Nevin have been added to the Orioles prospect list on The Board, and Baltimore still has five (at time of publication) players to be named later who will join the system at some point this year, including one from this deal. Their rebuild is in full effect.
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