Phillies trade rumors: Team moves on to another Oriole
By John Town
With the Phillies reportedly moving on from Manny Machado to other options, they remain interested in his teammate, reliever Zach Britton.
The Phillies have been surrounded by Manny Machado trade rumors since the offseason. They would love to have him, but the Orioles have reportedly been asking for too much in exchange. While the chances of landing Machado are long, a different trade with the Orioles could be in the works.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported after Wednesday’s game that the Phils have engaged in conversations with the Orioles about their closer, Zach Britton according to a “major league source.” Salisbury says Britton’s price would be much lower than Machado’s, which is important as the team does not want to give up significant assets. Salisbury also said that Maikel Franco could be one of the pieces traded for Britton.
Britton is regarded as one of the best closers in the game, but he has been hampered by injuries last year and this year. A forearm strain forced him on and off the disabled list throughout the first half of the season. He then tore his Achilles during the offseason, only returning a month ago.
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Britton has plenty of experience as a closer with 137 saves since 2014. He was an All-Star in 2015 and 2016, saving 36 games in 2015 and leading the league in saves with 47 in 2016. That year he finished fourth in Cy Young voting and 11th in MVP voting. From 2014 to 2016 he had a 1.38 ERA, 0.909 WHIP, and 3.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Since returning from the disabled list, Britton has a 4.26 ERA and a 1.342 WHIP.
Those numbers are a bit misleading as he gave up five hits and four runs in one outing. Of his 13 appearances, Britton has allowed runs in just two of them. His last five outings have all been scoreless with just one walk and two hits allowed.
While the bullpen has been significantly better as of late, adding Britton would give them a bona fide closer. Seranthony Dominguez has served in that role to some extent, but Britton would allow Dominguez to be used in any crucial situation without worrying about who handles the end of the game.
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Adding Britton would be a huge boost to this team and boost their chances for the playoff. Britton is a great pitcher who would help the bullpen greatly.