After acquiring Andrew Miller at the trade deadline last season, the Indians could be looking to make another bullpen splash in making a move for Orioles closer Zach Britton, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
With Justin Wilson being traded yesterday, Britton and Brad Hand appear to be the last prolific bullpen arms remaining on the trade block. Britton seems to be the Indians’ top choice right now despite battling some injury this season. He has been one of the best relievers in baseball since 2014, holding a 1.38 ERA between 2014 and 2016, including a 0.54 ERA last season. His 2017 ERA sits at 3.32.
The Indians have evolved into a team that heavily relies on their bullpen, as their 2016 postseason run showed. Adding Britton would give them a potent bullpen trio of Britton, Miller and Cody Allen for manager Terry Francona to toy with.
The Indians’ competition for Britton could be the Dodgers and Astros according to Ken Rosenthal, but it has also been reported that the Orioles are seeking a massive return package for their star closer, one comparable to the returns for Miller and Aroldis Chapman last season.
In addition to Britton, the Indians are also reportedly in the mix for Rangers starter Yu Darvish, despite being on Darvish’s no-trade list. The Indians have won nine out of their last 10 games and remain two games ahead in the AL Central, but would like to add pitching pieces to separate themselves from the streaking Royals.