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MLB trade rumors: Astros 'serious' in Zach Britton pursuit

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The Orioles closer is on the market despite Baltimore's Recent acquisition of Jeremy Hellickson.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros are among the "most serious" clubs pursuing Orioles reliever Zach Britton, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Among the suitors for Britton are the Dodgers, though they've set their sights on the top starting pitchers still on the market, according to Morosi.

Britton, 29, led the league in saves last season with 47 to go with an incredible 0.54 ERA in 67.0 innings. The left-hander missed close to two months of the 2017 season with an arm injury, but Britton has returned to action and has made nine appearances (9.0 IP, 6 ER) this July. While this season hasn't been quite as dominant as last year, Britton is under team control through 2018.

While the Astros were rumored to be pursuing A's starter Sonny Gray, the club has been reluctant to deal top prospects Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, or Forrest Whitley. However, Britton may command one of the three in a potential package deal with Houston.

Orioles GM Dan Duquette made the Orioles' stance as sellers a bit murky, acquiring starter Jeremy Hellickson from the Phillies Thursday night. While the club is 6.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, they'd have to hop six clubs to be in playoff position.