It’s been a quiet start to the offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers in terms of transactions, but action should begin to pick up as the calendar inches closer to December and the Winter Meetings. The club is among a handful of teams to inquire on Zach Britton, who’s reportedly being shopped by the Baltimore Orioles.
The Dodgers expressed interest in acquiring the southpaw at the non-waiver trade deadline but ultimately settled for a pair of left-handers in Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson. That in some part was believed to be tied to the Orioles’ waffling on their seriousness in moving their star closer.
Despite some concern over Britton still recovering from arm troubles that sidelined him for two months earlier in the season, Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos reportedly nixed a trade that would’ve sent Britton to the Houston Astros.
With Britton again floated in trade talks, the Orioles are confident he’s back at full health, according to Buster Olney of ESPN:
“The Orioles believe that Britton is fully recovered from his arm trouble and that he’ll wholly regain the command that sometimes eluded him in the last two months of the 2017 regular season.”
In just 37.1 innings this past season, Britton posted a solid 2.89 ERA, 3.40 FIP and 1.53 WHIP with 29 strikeouts to 18 walks. He allowed 12 earned runs on the year, though it’s not quite as impressive when taking into account his total of 18 runs in the previous two seasons combined.
The two-time All-Star is eligible for arbitration this winter and can reach free agency at the end of the 2018 season. With just one year of control remaining, Britton’s cost figures to be a far cry from the Orioles’ high asking price in July.
Should the Dodgers swing a deal for Britton, the club would have a dominant duo in the back of their bullpen, led by Kenley Jansen. He stated last summer that he would be open to the acquisition of Britton, downplaying any concerns over potentially sharing closing duties.