The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles struck a deal on Tuesday that will send star left-handed closer Zach Britton to the Yankees and pitching prospects Dillon Tate, Josh Rodgers, and Cody Caroll to the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will pay the entire remainder of Zach Britton’s salary, which turns out to be about $4.5 million.
Zach Britton made his season debut on June 12 after recuperating from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered during an offseason workout. In 15.2 innings of work in 2018, Britton has posted a 3.45 ERA with 4 saves, one hold, 0.4 WAR, and 13 strikeouts. After a rough few first few innings back, Britton has turned it around, posting a 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts over seven innings during the month of July.
Zach Britton went 47-for-47 in save opportunities in 2016 while putting up a 0.54 ERA and finishing fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting. Despite Britton’s regular-season success, manager Buck Showalter famously decided against using his closer in extra innings during Baltimore’s wild-card loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead of going with Zach Britton who would have guaranteed to keep the score tied in extras, Showalter decided to pitch starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who surrendered a walk-off 3-run home run.
“Adding a guy like that, it’s just pieces you can kinda play with,” Dellin Betances said before the trade was officially announced. “You don’t have to go out there and pitch three days in a row, which — I haven’t done that all year; most of us haven’t really done that — so I think adding a guy like that even gives us more help. And we’ll keep feeding off that energy back down there in the bullpen.”
“Those are teams that are top teams in the league,” Betances said. “And adding a guy like Britton is powerful to any bullpen, so obviously getting him on our side … it’s huge for us.”
The Texas Rangers selected Dillon Tate as their fourth overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft and then traded him a year later to the Bronx Bombers for a package of players highlighted by Carlos Beltran. The 24-year-old right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 starts with Double-A Trenton in 2018. Tate is ranked No. 9 in the Yankees’ farm system by MLB Pipeline.
Cody Carroll was chosen by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. The right-hander has pitched 41 2/3 innings of relief for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2018 while posting a 2.38 ERA. MLB Pipeline ranks him at No. 15 in the Yankees’ farm system.
Josh Rogers was selected by the New York Yankees in the 11th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. Rodgers has spent his 2018 year with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and has posted a 3.95 ERA in 109.1 innings pitched. Rodgers was unable to crack the Yankees’ prospect rankings on MLB Pipeline.
The Baltimore Orioles currently hold the worst record in the Major Leagues at 29-73 and have begun a total rebuild after trading superstar Manny Machado to the Dodgers for five prospects and fielding trade offers from teams interested in Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman, Adam Jones, Brad Brach, and other members of the club. The New York Yankees, on the other hand, are having an incredible season and are currently battling the Boston Red Sox for first in the American League East. The acquisition of Zach Britton will now make their already dominant bullpen (they rank first in baseball with a 2.75 ERA and 448 strikeouts) a true force to be reckoned with as they charge into the Postseason looking to win World Series No. 28.