The group of available relievers at this year’s non-waiver trade deadline has been led by Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, San Diego Padres’ Brad Hand and Detroit Tigers closer Justin Wilson. The Los Angeles Dodgers, among several others, have been tied to all three southpaws.
Wilson was the first move, as the Tigers packaged him with Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs. All the while the Dodgers have seemingly remained focused on Britton, even as the club has reportedly expressed interest in starters Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray.
A report late Sunday night indicated Britton remained the Dodgers’ top trade target as the 1 p.m. PT deadline inches closer. According to Paul Hoynes of MLB.com, the Cleveland Indians are making a strong effort to trade for the 29-year-old:
Tribe pushing hard for Britton. In mix for Darvish, but only if price comes down.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) July 31, 2017
While the Indians are pursuing a trade for Britton, the status quo holds for the Dodgers and Houston Astros, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2017
Interest in Britton over the last week or so was though to have cooled some, because of health concerns. A left forearm strain twice forced Britton to the disabled list, with the second stint costing him two months of the season.
It was not until Sunday that he appeared in back-to-back games since suffering the injury. But even with that, Britton only threw a combined one inning and faced three batters to notch consecutive saves.
On the season he’s converted all eight save opportunities and pitched to 3.32 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Britton has issued eight walks, recorded 15 strikeouts and not allowed a home run in 19 innings pitched.