Baltimore Orioles Rumors: Dodgers express “legitimate” interest in Britton

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 05: Zach Britton
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 05: Zach Britton /

The Baltimore Orioles continue to receive interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers on closer Zach Britton as MLB trade rumors and news proceed.

The Baltimore Orioles trade rumors involving closer Zach Britton and the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly remain active as the non-wavier MLB Trade Deadline inches closer on July 31 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

According to ESPN Senior Writer Jerry Crasnick, the Dodgers interest in Britton remain “legitimate.” However, at the same time, the Dodgers are cautious on a deal for Britton after the Orioles closer missed substantial time due to a forearm strain. Nonetheless, the dominant duo of Britton and Kenley Jansen in the Dodgers bullpen keeps them intrigued.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman first reported the Dodgers interest on the Orioles 29-year-old closer on July 13 with Janson thrilled on the possibility to be part of arguably the best eighth-ninth inning set in MLB history.

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If a trade were to occur that sends Britton out West, expect the Orioles to inquire on some of the Dodgers’ top pitching prospects such as the first-round pick in the 2015 MLB draft Walker Buehler, right-handed pitcher Trevor Oaks, 25-year-old Brock Stewart, among others.

Since his return from the DL on July 5, Britton has tossed seven innings with a 5.14 ERA and 10 hits and has yet to pitch consecutive games.

Britton’s trade value took a hit in the series finale against the Rangers Thursday night as he allowed two earned runs and a walk in a ninth inning appearance.

Now, the suddenly rejuvenated Orioles sit a manageable 3.5 games back from the final American League Wild Card spot and are 4-3 to open the second-half of the 2017 MLB season. As a result, questions arise on if the Orioles will sell or buy with a playoff spot back in reach.

Entering Friday’s weekend series against the astounding Houston Astros, the Orioles, 46-49, FiveThirtyEight’s 2017 MLB Predictions give the Orioles just a 10 percent chance of making the playoffs despite putting themselves right back into the AL playoff picture.

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As reported earlier this week, Orioles owner Peter Angelos gave vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette the OK to explore trade options for the team’s top relievers that include Britton, Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and right fielder Seth Smith.