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Baltimore Orioles Trade Closer Zach Britton To New York Yankees For 3 Minor League Pitchers

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 25, 2018 08:50 AM EDT
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Zach Britton
Zach Britton saw action in 16 games for the Orioles last season, recording a 3.45 ERA during that span. Britton was sidelined with an Achilles injury in the early part of the season. (Photo : MLB | YouTube)

The New York Yankees have traded three prospects, led by No. 9 prospect Dillon Tate, to the Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton on Tuesday.

Aside from Tate, the Yankees shipped No. 15 prospect Cody Carroll and Triple-A left-hander Josh Rogers for Britton, who tallied a 3.45 ERA in 16 games with the Orioles this season.

Britton missed the early part of the season due to an Achilles injury. Last season, Britton recorded a 2.89 ERA in 38 appearances before the injury. In 2016, Britton emerged as one of the best closers in the game, posting a 0.54 ERA with 47 saves.

"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," manager Aaron Boone says.

The trade will help the Yankees' playoff push, but it is considered a gamble for them since Britton is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. The Yankees will shoulder the rest of Britton's salary worth $4.5 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Britton Excited To Join Yankees

"Right now, I'm just excited to get on a winning team and hopefully do some good things," Britton said, adding that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if given a chance to chase a World Series ring.

Britton will join the Yankees' strong bullpen, which also includes Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, and Dellin Betances. Also in the Yankees' bullpen are Jonathan Holder, Adam Warren, or A.J. Cole.

Britton could provide the Yankees with some insurance at closer, especially with Chapman's recent struggles. Chapman welcomed the arrival of Britton, saying someone with his talent will be very helpful to the Yankees.

Currently, the Yankees own the Majors' best bullpen when it comes to an ERA (2.75) and opponents' batting average (.199). However, the Yankees are five games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

Yankees Traded With Division Rival For First Time Since 1989

This marked the first time since July 1989 that the Yankees have made an in-season trade the Orioles, a division rival. The last time it happened, the Yankees got right-handed pitcher John Habyan for outfielder Stan Jefferson.

In 15 starts for Double-A Trenton this season, the 24-year-old Tate recorded a 3.38 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Last season, Tate had 13 starts between Class A Advanced Tampa and Trenton, posting a 2.81 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Carroll is known for his fastball, but he has struggled to find the strike zone in his career. His lack of control has resulted in a walk rate of four batters per nine innings. The Orioles could use him as a late-inning reliever if his command improves.

Rogers has compiled 3.95 ERA and 2.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season in 19 Triple-A starts.

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