The Baltimore Orioles are on to closer Zach Britton, which means they’re going to be pretty busy.
Now that the Orioles finally have traded shortstop Manny Machado, the next valuable asset the woeful O’s are expected to move is Britton.
There is expected to be no shortage of interest in the left-handed reliever, either. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick listed seven teams who are in the running to acquire the All-Star closer: the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros.
Basically, if you’re in the hunt for a playoff spot, you’re interested in Britton.
The interest, assuming Britton is healthy, certainly is warranted. The 30-year-old has appeared in just 15 games this season, holding opponents to a .220 batting average. Britton was knocked around in his fifth appearance after returning from an Achilles injury, but he’s been great since then, allowing just two runs on five hits over 10 innings while striking out eight.
Looking at it from a Red Sox perspective, Britton makes plenty of sense. While the Red Sox bullpen has been better than some realize, the recent struggles of Joe Kelly — he’s allowed 14 earned runs in his last 13 2/3 innings — leave the Red Sox with questions about the eighth inning. Even though Britton isn’t the same dominant reliever he was a few years ago, he still presents an abundance of value as an eighth-inning option for the Sox.
The Red Sox reportedly have been scouting Britton for at least a week and a half.