Baltimore Orioles reliver Zach Britton seems sure to be traded ahead of the 2018 MLB trade deadline on July 31.
The Baltimore Orioles weren’t expected to have the worst record in MLB following the All-Star break, but here they are at 28-72 and on pace to lose 112 games per FiveThirtyEight.com’s 2018 MLB predictions. The 112 losses would set an all-time record for most defeats in a single season, plummeting past the 111 defeats by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
Shortstop Manny Machado was the first major trade complete by the Orioles, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers just one day after the 2018 MLB All-Star game in exchange for five prospects including outfielder Yusniel Diaz.
Now with the Machado trade saga finally over, the Orioles now shift their attention to trading two-time All-Star and 2016 American League Reliver of the Year, Zach Britton.
In 16 appearances out of the bullpen, Britton has a 3.45 ERA and four saves, along with a blown save early in his return from the disabled list. Despite not having the stellar stats he once produced during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the number of teams expressing interest in the 30-year-old pitcher continues to grow by the day.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Britton is drawing trade interest from several teams. However, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the latest team to join the list of teams in on Britton.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets the Arizona Diamondbacks is the latest team to join the Britton trade sweepstakes. The Diamondbacks enter the conversation after extensive trade talks this winter on Machado and the Orioles familiarity with Arizona’s farm system.
Rosenthal also notes that Arizona has one of the deeper farm systems than the other clubs involved in the Britton trade rumors.
The standout pitching prospect of interest is right-handed pitcher Jon Duplantier, who ranks as the No. 59 overall baseball prospect, per MLB.com. First baseman Pavin Smith and shortstop Jasrado Chisholm are other highly-touted prospects of interest for the Orioles.
Currently, the Diamondbacks closer Brad Boxberger is having a solid season with 24 saves and a 2.97 ERA after his ERA elevated to 3.68 towards the end of June. In addition to Boxberger, the Diamondbacks have relievers Andrew Chafin (1.51 ERA), Yoshishia Hirano (2.32 ERA) and former Orioles pitcher Ty McFarland (1.81 ERA).
The Diamondbacks sit 1 and 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West division and one game behind the Atlanta Braves for the final NL wild card spot.