Baltimore Orioles Trade Rumors: Indians making late push for Zach Britton

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29: Caleb Joseph
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29: Caleb Joseph /

The MLB Trade Deadline is upon us with Baltimore Orioles’ trade rumors shift into high gear as teams make a final push for Orioles closer Zach Britton.

The Cleveland Indians have entered the group of teams to inquire the Baltimore Orioles on their All-Star closer, Zach Britton. Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes of reported Monday morning that the Indians are “pushing hard” for Orioles lefty closer.

Moments later, Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network confirmed Hoynes’ report and revealed that both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros remain in the running for Britton. As expected, executives from around the league remain unsure if the Orioles are serious about dealing Britton.

The acquisition of Britton for the Indians would enhance an already extraordinary bullpen that ranks atop MLB with a 2.78 ERA. The 29-year-old Britton would form an overpowering mixture of bullpen pitchers, joining former Orioles relief pitcher Andrew Miller and Indians closer Cody Allen.

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If the Orioles end up dealing Britton, they’ll likely receive some of the Indians superlative prospects including right-handed pitcher Triston McKenzie. The 19-year-old McKenzie, who ranks No. 24 among MLB’s top 100 prospects by, has started 19 games this season with a 3.31 ERA and 140 strikeouts for the Single-A Lynchburg Hillcats.

Other foremost pitching prospects from the Indians organization includes a pair of right-handed pitcher Aaron Civale and Shane Bieber. The 6-foot-2 Civale has 34 career starts, all in Single-A, where he’s earned a solid 3.26 career ERA.

On the other hand, Shane Bieber just finished up a stint in Single-A Lynchburg where he posted an imposing 6-1 record in 14 starts, along with a sound 3.10 ERA. However, Bieber was recently promoted to Double-A Akron and made his debut with the RubberDucks Sunday. Unfortunately for Bieber, he was unable to get through the fifth inning and allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in the loss.

Britton made his first back-to-back appearances since returning from a forearm injury that kept him sidelined for two months. After he had allowed two earned runs in a non-save opportunity against the Tampa Bay Rays, Britton stormed back in the Orioles weekend series with the Texas Rangers to notch two straight saves and extend his historic save streak to 57.

After a successful weekend series in Arlington, Tx., the fourth-place Orioles sit with a record of 50-54 and trail the first-place New York Yankees by 6.5 games. Nonetheless, the Orioles have an opportune chance the next few days to gain ground in the American League Wild Card standings with a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.

Next: Nats making push for Orioles lefty

The Royals, 55-48, have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games and own the final playoff spot in the AL Wild Card picture. Entering today’s series, the Orioles are 5.5 games behind the Royals who just sit a half game back from the Boston Red Sox for the first Wild Card spot.