The Boston Red Sox seemingly have interest in one of the Baltimore Orioles’ stars, but it might not be who you think.
Yes, the Red Sox reportedly checked in on shortstop Manny Machado, but Boston’s real target might be closer Zach Britton, according to multiple reports.
Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman on Tuesday noted the Red Sox have been scouting the left-handed reliever. MASN’s Roch Kubatko heard the same, adding it seems like there’s definite interest from the Red Sox in Britton. And on Wednesday, WEEI.com noted Kubatko’s report “lines up with what has been coming from multiple sources over the past few weeks.”
As recently as 2016, Britton was considered one of the best closers in baseball. The two-time All-Star finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting in 2016, after a ridiculous season in which he finished with a 0.54 ERA and a league-leading 47 saves.
Injuries, however, have slowed his career since. He appeared in just 38 games last season, and he didn’t make his 2018 debut until mid-June. One horrific outing on June 22 (four earned runs in one-third of an inning) has ballooned his ERA. But he’s been much better since then, allowing two runs over eight innings while striking out six. His velocity also appears to be back, as he was up into the mid-90s Tuesday night while striking out two in an inning of work against the New York Yankees.
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