Zach Britton is one of baseball’s strongest relievers. There just isn’t a place for him in the Bronx and in that New York Yankees bullpen.
When the New York Yankees acquired Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline, it looked as though the team would reach the playoffs on the back of the bullpen. The team’s relief unit wound up ranking fourth in MLB with a staff ERA of 3.38, so Britton clearly helped. He posted a 2.88 ERA in 25 games with the Yankees, setting himself up for a strong payday in free agency.
However, that payday should not come from the Yankees.
Sure, Britton did well in a Yankees uniform, and his sinking fastball gave opposing hitters fits when he was Baltimore’s closer. The sad truth is New York already had a strong bullpen when he was acquired. Someone has to go on the chopping block before the 2019 season starts.
In this case, the odd man out is Zach Britton.
A fine fit
It’s clear why the Yankees were interested in Zach Britton at the trade deadline. Not only would he add another lefty arm to a bullpen dominated by righties, but he would induce lots of ground balls. Britton’s career groundball rate (GB%) is 65.4 percent, and his mark in 2018 with Baltimore and New York was a fine 73 percent.