The Yankees made a big splash on the trade market late Tuesday night, acquiring left-handed closer Zach Britton from the Orioles for three pitching prospects.
The move bolsters an already strong Yankees bullpen and represents a disappointment for the Red Sox, who were rumored to be seriously interested in trading for Britton to fill their eighth inning need.
Britton was once one of the most dominant relief pitchers in baseball, making back-to-back All-Star rosters in 2015 and 2016. His 2016 campaign was especially spectacular, giving up just four earned runs in 67 innings of work (0.54 ERA) en route to 47 saves for Baltimore.
The lefty has not entirely regained his form after going down with a ruptured Achilles last season. He has a 3.45 ERA in 11 appearances in 2018.
The big piece heading to Baltimore in the deal is righty Dylan Tate. Tate was the fourth overall pick by the Texas Rangers in the 2015 draft and projects as a major league pitcher, according to Baseball America‘s most recent evaluation.
“One of three pieces sent from the Rangers to the Yankees in exchange for Carlos Beltran two summers ago, Tate still shows athleticism and high-end stuff. He still needs to work on consistency with his offspeed pitches—a slider and a changeup—but when both are work he holds three pitches with plus potential. If that happens, he has a future as a starter. If not, he could make a nice bullpen piece.”
The 24-year-old Tate was pitching at Double-A Trenton.
The Orioles also acquired minor league pitchers Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers, both consensus top 30 prospects in the Yankees system.
A number of other contending teams around Major League Baseball were said to have been interested in Britton, including the Astros and the Cubs.
By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.