Phillies should skip starters, complete bullpen instead
Britton is another former Oriole Philadelphia’s front office is very familiar with. His adversity over the last few years is another reason this 2018-2019 free agency class won’t live up to the payday it was expected to a few years ago.
Britton had one of the greatest relief seasons in MLB history back in 2016 when he converted all 47 of his save opportunities behind a 0.54 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting and 11th in MVP voting. Prior to 2016, Britton was coming off two seasons with a sub-two ERA and a combined 73 saves.
Injuries tormented a large portion of Britton’s 2017 and 2018 seasons. Following his mid-season trade to the Yankees, Britton still showed dominant potential, but also created a few causes for concern. He only tallied 25 innings but posted a very nice 1.13 WHIP. His K/9 (7.6) was higher than his career average but walking 11 batters when only striking out 21 could be worrisome.
SInce his dominant 2016, Britton has failed to shut down just eight of 37 save opportunities, a 78% success rate. Britton is one of two legitimate closer options the Phillies have this offseason and as good as Britton is, it’ll be hard to find someone who believes he is the better of the two. Britton would likely only become the Phillies preferred option if Craig Kimbrel’s (we’ll get to him later) asking price becomes too large.
While Britton would not be my prefered option signing him would definitely be a major closer improvement and could the Phillies secure a bunch of more wins in 2019.