During the 2015 Winter Meetings, the Los Angeles Dodgers made an aggressive play for then-Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. A trade agreement was reportedly reached but it came undone once a report of Chapman’s alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident surfaced.
Chapman was eventually traded to the New York Yankees, who in turn sent him to the Chicago Cubs ahead of last season’s non-waiver trade deadline. With multiple teams using a shift in strategy during the 2016 postseason, assembling a deep bullpen appears to have become the preferred course of action over a star-studded starting rotation.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Dodgers are among the teams who have contacted the Baltimore Orioles to inquire on closer Zach Britton:
Teams with a major need for a closer have checked in to see if Orioles star Zach Britton is available. But there’s a surprise team on the list of teams to have called, and that is the team with the best closing situation – yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In addition to Britton and Chapman, the Dodgers have reportedly had interest in closers Wade Davis and Greg Holland over the past year. Britton would fit the reports Los Angeles is in search of a left-handed reliever ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
Britton was reinstated from the disabled list on July 5, after being shelved for two months due to a left forearm strain. He recorded all 47 save opportunities last season and on April 14 of this year, tied Tom Gordon’s MLB record of 54 consecutive saves.
The Orioles put Britton on the disabled list two days after the accomplishment. He managed to make a relatively quick return but only appeared in two games before landing back on the DL on April 28.
Britton has pitched to a 2.25 ERA, 3.06 FIP and notched five saves this season. He’s eligible for salary arbitration this winter. Considering what Chapman and Andrew Miller fetched at the non-waiver trade deadline last season, the Dodgers may not be willing to part with the necessary prospects to land Britton.