Chicago Cubs Rumors: Your midday MLB Trade Deadline update
By Jake Misener
En route to a World Series berth in 2016, the Cleveland Indians boasted a lethal set of late-inning relievers. Headlined by the likes of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, the Tribe seemed set at the back end of ballgames.
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But, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland is “pushing hard” for Orioles closer Zach Britton. They aren’t alone in their pursuit of the southpaw, though. The Dodgers and Astros are also reportedly targeting the O’s ninth-inning man – and for good reason.
We’ve seen the trend of assembling lights-out bullpens pay off in recent years. The Kansas City Royals started the trend during their run atop the baseball world. The Cubs got in on the idea with the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. Now, the Indians seem ready to take the idea to a whole new level.
Entering the season, one could make a solid case that Britton ranked as the best closer in baseball. But after missing a good chunk of the season with a forearm injury, question marks linger now. Still, the lefty owns a 2.83 FIP this year – and has not finished a season with an ERA north of 2.00 since 2013.
The Orioles are still seeking a blue-chip prospect. Will the injury from earlier this season derail contenders from betting big on Britton or is he poised to help a club win it all come October?