According to multiple reports, Zach Britton is close to being a New York Yankee. Ken Rosenthal first reported that the Yankees had emerged as a clear front-runner to acquire the veteran lefty’s services late in the afternoon. Jon Heyman reported that the deal had been agreed to at 9pm EST. The Yankees and Orioles are exchanging medicals and finalizing the parameters of the deal.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported that if the deal is finalized, the Yankees would be sending their ninth best prospect, RHP Dillon Tate, AAA prospect LHP Josh Rogers, and the Yanks #15 prospect in AAA reliever Cody Carroll. The Yankees give up a pretty fair haul for Britton, whom is a two-time All Star and when healthy, is one of the best left handed relievers in the major leagues. If he stays healthy, the Yankees add onto a bullpen that was already the best in baseball and it will become one of the fiercest that the baseball world has seen in years.
Britton made his MLB debut in 2011 for the Orioles and has played there ever since. He is 30-22 in his career with 139 saves and a 3.22 earned run average. He also has 425 career strikeouts to only 194 walks issued. He rarely gets beat by the long ball which is a key factor due to the transitioned focus to power for most major league hitters.
Britton’s career season came in 2016 when he stayed healthy and made appearances in 69 games for the O’s. He had a 2-1 record, 47 saves, 0.54 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 2.5 WAR, and only surrendered one home run in 67 innings on the bump. He even finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting.
If Britton can return to those numbers, the rest of the MLB should watch out, because the Yankees bullpen could be merely unstoppable. According to his 2018 Pitch/FX numbers, Britton has heavily relied on his nasty 95 mph sinker and his 81 mph knee buckling curveball.
Barring a major meltdown in trade talks, it seems like a foregone conclusion that the Yankees have bolstered their bullpen with the two time All-Star.