The biggest subplot to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is the trade rumors swirling around Manny Machado. The superstar Baltimore Orioles shortstop will start for the American League Tuesday, and it might be his last time in an Orioles uniform.
If the latest rumors are true, Machado could be playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers by the end of the week.
However, Machado is not the only current Oriole on the trade market. Closer Zach Britton, whose contract also expires at the end of the year, will likely be dealt before the July 31 deadline. In fact, Baltimore could focus on finding a trade partner for him if and when the Machado deal is finished.
Plenty of contenders are interested in trading for Britton, including the Dodgers, per Jon Heyman of FanCred:
Whatever happens with manny (and dodgers lead), phillies are expected to pick up talks regarding Zach Britton. Big market there: cubs, yankees, red sox, maybe astros, indians, dodgers, others.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 17, 2018
Britton was one of the baseball’s best relief pitchers from 2014-16, helping the Orioles reach the playoffs twice in that span. He led the league in saves with 47 in 2016, while also posting a miniscule 0.54 ERA and 1.94 FIP that year.
However, Britton struggled with injury in 2017, first dealing with forearm problems during the season then rupturing his achilles in December. He made his 2018 debut on June 12 and has since posted a 3.38 ERA and 4.30 FIP over just 14.2 innings.
The Dodgers were reportedly interested in Britton around the 2017 All-Star break. Trading for him would have given the team a superstar bullpen core alongside closer Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow. Instead, the Dodgers eventually acquired Yu Darvish, Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani, who all helped them win their first National League Pennant in nearly 30 years.
Britton could still be a valuable asset to a very mediocre 2018 Dodgers bullpen. Los Angeles seems more focused on Machado at the moment, but it seems likely they have at least asked about what it would take to put Britton in Dodger Blue.
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