The Chicago Cubs have been in on Zach Britton since July 2017, and with this season’s trade deadline less than 10 days away they’re once again in trade talks for the Baltimore Orioles closer.
Earlier this week 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs are major players for Britton and now there’s a second report from a local writer.
The Cubs have been tracking Zach Britton and remain deeply involved in the discussions as the Baltimore Orioles market their high-profile reliever before the July 31 trade deadline, multiple sources told The Athletic.
However, the Cubs aren’t alone in their pursuit of the left-handed closer, who will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
Basically every playoff contender is trying to trade for Britton.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 21, 2018
Britton clearly remains the top priority for the Cubs and they’re making the strongest push for him along with the Houston Astros.
The #Astros and #Cubs are trying to match up prospects with the #Orioles on a Zach Britton deal. Others involved too. Heard the O’s would like to wrap it up by early in the week. With Familia, Hand and Herrera having moved, it’s ramped up the pace of talks.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 22, 2018
ESPN’s Buster Olney dropped this interesting piece of information as well.
Everyone always asks what a team would have to trade for a certain player and according to Olney the Orioles’ asking price for Britton is similar to what the Kansas City Royals got for Kelvin Herrera.
To tack on to what Jerry writes in this post: https://t.co/ton3o2TyPA Heard that the Orioles are indicating to other teams they're looking for a return at least equivalent to what the Royals got for Kelvin Herrera.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2018
The Washington Nationals struck early in the trade market for bullpen help, trading for Herrera back in the middle of June. The Nationals sent three players to Kansas City, outfielder Blake Perkins, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, and righty Yohanse Morel, for Herrera, who is also a free agent following the season.
Here’s a quick rundown on the three players the Nationals traded for Herrera.
Depending upon who you ask, Gutierrez and Perkins each rated just outside of or just within the ten best prospects on the Nationals farm. The former is a 23-year-old third baseman who has scuffled a bit in his first attempt at Double-A this year, but is regarded as a talented corner defender who possesses a quality hit tool and some power potential. Perkins, 21, has run into some troubles at the High-A level but has an interesting blend of speed, power, and plate discipline along with up-the-middle defensive ability in the outfield. As for Morel, a reputedly live-armed 17-year-old, he’ll represent a long-term wild card in this swap.
Perkins was a second-round draft pick by the Nationals in 2015, and before this year hadn’t played above A-Ball, struggling offensively through his first two years in the minors. Meanwhile, Gutierrez didn’t reach Double-A until 2018, and like Perkins didn’t really have any impressive numbers in the minors. And well Morel, like the description said, is simply a lottery ticket prospect.
So, that gives you a picture as to what the Cubs would need to give up in a trade if Olney’s report is accurate.
You can check out the Cubs’ top-30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline here.
And who knows, a trade could be right around the corner.
Sources: Orioles doing their business with alacrity — they are looking to move Zach Britton this weekend or early in the week ahead. Lots of contenders continue to be involved in the conversation.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 21, 2018
Stay tuned. Even if it’s not Britton, the Cubs will make another trade. I guarantee it.