I know some fans get pissed off about all these rumors and reports, but boy do I find it all entertaining. You have teams leaking info left and right and you’re really never sure what’s true and what’s bullshit. So, take this for whatever it’s worth, but according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand, one of his sources thinks the Chicago Cubs are going to trade for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton.
Industry source thinks Cubs will trade for Britton. “If you have a chance to add Britton to your club, you do it. Theo has the minor-lgrs."
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 17, 2017
But there’s more. The Cubs played the Orioles this weekend and destroyed Baltimore’s pitching staff, scoring 27 runs in the three-game series, but they also had scouts taking closer looks at not only Britton but other relievers as well.
With the Orioles reportedly ready to sell most of their valuable players before the trade deadline, several teams were in attendance during the weekend.
Cubs, DBacks, Astros & Dodgers all at Camden Yards this weekend to scout Britton, O'Day and Brach. Baltimore bullpen could fetch big return.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 16, 2017
Britton, 29, is coming off one of the most impressive years by a closer in MLB history. In 2016, the lefty had a 0.54 ERA and 0.84 WHIP, 47-for-47 in save chances. He only gave up four runs in 69 innings, striking out 74 batters to 18 walks.
And we’re not talking about a one-year wonder either. Britton had 1.65 ERA in 2014 and 1.92 ERA in 2015, saving 73 games in those two seasons. He’s under team control through 2018, making $11.4 million this year.
Remember the Andrew Miller trade last year? Yeah, the price is going to be high for Britton, despite having missed significant time with an arm injury this season. He’s only pitched 14 innings in 2017, missing almost all of May, all of June and coming back in early July.
Despite that, Britton is still one of the top closers in the game and again the Orioles will get a big haul for him.
This is why I love this report. We already saw the Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal report that the Cubs were still after Sonny Gray even after trading for Jose Quintana last week. Now, they’re in on Britton? We’ve seen that the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to get Britton too, so I think Theo Epstein is simply trying to drive these prices through the roof for these teams. He jumped the market and got his guy, Quintana, the best pitcher available in the market, now he’s taking advantage and is going to at least make someone pay a massive price for whatever they want.
Can the Cubs get Britton? You might think they have no shot because they’ve given up Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, but the Cubs still have plenty of prospects that could be valuable to other teams.
Anyway, stay tuned these next two weeks because we’re starting to see a few teams who are gearing up for a fire sale and we’re on the verge of seeing some fireworks.