The New York Yankees announced Tuesday night that they had traded for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, beating out several other contenders who were looking to add the two-time All-Star before the trade deadline.
The Yankees gave up three minor league pitchers in the deal, including Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll, and left-hander Josh Rogers.
Stacked Yankees Bullpen
Britton has been one of the most dependable relievers in baseball over the past five years, amassing 139 saves for the Orioles during that period. He made the All-Star Team in both 2015 and 2016, posting an incredible 0.54 ERA in the 2016 season while collecting a league-high 47 saves.
Britton�s numbers have declined a bit over the past two seasons, and suffered a rupture of his right Achilles during the offseason. That caused him to miss the first two months of the 2018 season, as he didn�t debut until June 12. Since then, he has made 16 appearances, collecting four saves with a 3.45 ERA.
The trade moves Britton from the team with the worst team in the majors to the Yankees, who stand at 64-35 and are five games back of the Red Sox for the AL East lead.
�Right now, I�m just excited to get on a winning team and hopefully do some good things,� Britton said after the trade was announced. �If you have a chance to chase a World Series ring, which obviously they do, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.�
By adding Britton, the Yankees aren�t covering a weakness, but rather look to add to what is already one of the best bullpens in the majors. From closer Aroldis Chapman to setup men like David Robertson, Chad Green, and Dellin Betances, New York has largely shut down opposing offenses in the late innings. Their relief corps leads the league with a 2.75 ERA and 448 strikeouts.
Chapman Still Ace Closer
Britton won�t be closing for the Yankees, as Chapman � who has earned 26 saves already this year � will maintain that role for New York.
�I think you�ve got to go into a new team and earn your role, especially with the guys they have over there,� Britton said. �They�ve got some guys who are doing really well. I�m just going to try to fit in and earn any role that�s given to me.�
Yankees manager Aaron Boone welcomed the addition, even if he was already confident in the bullpen he�s worked with all season long.
�Any time you can add to a strength, cover up a weakness or whatever, when you can add good players to your team, obviously that�s a good thing,� he told reporters.
The Orioles are in full fire sale mode as they prepare to rebuild for the future. This is the second major trade this month for Baltimore, as the franchise shipped All-Star shortstop Manny Machado to the Dodgers over the All-Star break.
While the betting markets didn�t move much on news of the trade, the Yankees remain one of the World Series favorites. Paddy Power lists New York at 5/1 to win the 2018 World Series, trailing only the Red Sox (4/1) and the Houston Astros (9/2).