Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, it was believed the Los Angeles Dodgers were focused on potentially acquiring one or more from Zach Britton, Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray. Los Angeles was also connected to Brad Hand and Justin Wilson.
The Detroit Tigers struck an agreement to package Wilson to the Chicago Cubs on the eve of the deadline. The Dodgers were unsuccessful in prying Britton from the Orioles, but did send shockwaves throughout baseball by trading for Darvish a few minutes prior to the 1 p.m. PT deadline.
Los Angeles was not the only team unable to acquire Britton, as the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals were among the teams with reported interested that also failed to complete a deal.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Orioles made a late decision to not trade Britton:
The Dodgers, at one point Monday, also felt they were progressing toward a deal for Britton, sources said. But about one hour before the deadline, the Orioles pulled back and informed the Dodgers that they would not trade their reliever, a two-time All-Star.
In addition to the Dodgers facing some difficulty in negotiations with the Orioles, the Astros were left in a similar position despite reaching a tentative agreement on a trade for Britton:
The Orioles went dark on both the Astros and Dodgers for several hours, sources said; the breakdown with the Astros occurred while the teams were in the medical review stage.
While the Dodgers managed to rebound by trading for left-handed relievers Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson, albeit both of whom aren’t of the elite level as Britton, the Astros’ lone move was to acquire Francisco Liriano from the Toronto Blue Jays.
A failure to acquire a high-impact pitcher at the trade deadline left Astros ace Dallas Keuchel disappointed, which he recently conveyed to reporters.
Handwringing with the Orioles is hardly a new development, as owner Peter Angelos has steadfastly refused to become a seller at the annual deadline during his tenure. Baltimore fielded interest for Britton last season and presumably will do so again in 2018, when he’s in the final year of his contract.