According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score, the Cubs are a “main player” in a possible trade for Orioles closer Zach Britton before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
Orioles GM Dan Duquette on MLB radio just said his next efforts will be to move the Zach Britton trade market forward . Sources point to the Chicago Cubs as a main player if they are convinced he is healthy.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 19, 2018
The Cubs will face competition from some familiar names as far as a bidding war for Britton goes.
Whatever happens with manny (and dodgers lead), phillies are expected to pick up talks regarding Zach Britton. Big market there: cubs, yankees, red sox, maybe astros, indians, dodgers, others.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 17, 2018
After sending Cubs closer Brandon Morrow back to the 10-day disabled list with right biceps inflammation on Thursday, the team could be searching for another reliever.
The 30-year-old is a ninth-inning veteran who tallied a career-high 47 saves with a 0.54 ERA in 2016, the year he finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting. He’s also been selected to two All-Star Games in his eight-year career.
But the closer’s 2018 season has had its ups and downs. He’s spent time getting reacquainted to pitching after having surgery for a ruptured right Achilles tendon that kept Britton out until June. He’s only pitched in 15 games while posting a 3.68 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. Britton hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven appearances.
Should the Cubs actually be concerned with his recent health issues? According to MLB.com, the Orioles reliever has “been showing a dramatic increase in velocity.” It seems it took him some time to get back to his previous form.
If he can even be close to the same player he was two years ago, Britton would be more than useful to the Cubs bullpen.