The New York Yankees need bullpen help, and Zach Britton appears to be their main target right now.
Zach Britton has many suitors in free agency, and the New York Yankees are reportedly one of them. Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported the Bombers’ interest via Twitter:
yankees seem focused on Zach Britton for the pen. he is believed to have multiple offers. but nyy wants to bring him back.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 3, 2019
Britton came to New York in a 2018 trade-deadline deal that gave Baltimore, his former team, a package that included promising prospects Dillon Tate and Cody Carroll. According to MLB.com, Tate is currently the Orioles’ No. 6 prospect, and Carroll ranks No. 17.
That’s a significant investment for only 25 games from the sinker-tossing lefty, so it makes sense that the Yankees want to bring him back. Also, after a bit of a rough start in the Bronx, Britton finished up the 2018 regular season strong.
He gave up six runs and blew a save in his first 7.1 innings with New York. In his next 17.2 innings, he only gave up two earned runs and picked up three saves. He did blow one save during that stretch but ended up getting the win in that game.
The 31-year-old Texas native also pitched well against Boston in the ALDS, giving up just one run in four innings of work.
Now, those numbers aren’t exactly blowing anyone away; however, Britton has been dominant in the past, and he was just coming back from an injury when the Yankees acquired him.
If Brian Cashman doesn’t work out a deal with Britton, there are still other bullpen options on the market. Adam Ottavino is at the head of the 2019 reliever free agent class, and he’s still available. Craig Kimbrel, Boston’s closer for the last three seasons, also has yet to find a new home.
Yankees fans hope that if Britton comes back to the Bombers, he also brings with him a return to his 2016 form (.054 ERA and 47 saves in 67 innings). If he doesn’t, the Bronx cheers are already queued up.