Over the last few days, the biggest pieces have begun to move. The Baltimore Orioles finally traded Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres moved Brad Hand. Now Machado’s former teammate supplants Hand as the best bullpen arm on the market.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported earlier today that just a couple of days after the Baltimore Orioles officially traded superstar Manny Machado to the Dodgers they are “barreling ahead” shopping Zach Britton.
Crasnick’s report named the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies as “among the teams in the mix” for the southpaw.
It’s easy to forget how dominant Britton was just a couple of seasons ago. From 2014-2016, Britton threw 209 innings for the Orioles, saved 120 games, and recorded a 1.38 ERA.
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Aging has taken its toll on Britton. In 2017, a forearm issue led to multiple DL-stints and he hasn’t been the same dominant closer since. However, he still remains one of the best relievers in baseball.
This past December, Britton tore his Achilles that put 2018 in question. He returned on June 12th, however, and has thrown seven consecutive scoreless innings in his last seven appearances.
Now that Brad Hand has been traded to Cleveland, Britton is the best remaining reliever on the market. Every major contender is looking for bullpen upgrades and Britton’s history as a dominant closer makes him even more inticing.
Britton will be a free-agent at the end of the season, which decreases his value. But, that will also allow more teams to put together competitive offers for the southpaw.
In reality, Britton would make every team better. In the wake of the Manny Machado trade the Baltimore Orioles are committing to a full rebuild. Britton will be the next of a long-list of players that could be on their way out of Baltimore.