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Phillies Rumors: Club expected to increase effort for Zach Britton

Zach Britton is reportedly a target of the Philadelphia Phillies. (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

For this stretch of a few hours, it appears that the Philadelphia Phillies could finish runner-up to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Manny Machado sweepstakes. Who knows where we’ll be in a few hours. Regardless of what happens with Machado, it appears that general manager Matt Klentak and Phillies brass are prepared to make a serious run at another Baltimore Orioles star.

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, with or without Machado, the Phillies are expected to make a serious push for two-time All-Star closer Zach Britton:

NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Jim Salisbury reported this past week that the Phillies had discussed Britton, 30, with the Orioles. Salisbury tweeted last Friday that he thought that the Phillies had interest in attempting to land both Machado and Britton in a megadeal. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this past weekend that the Orioles would prefer to move the two separately.

In any event, Britton would give the Phillies a proven ninth inning option, making it easier for manager Gabe Kapler to employ rookie phenom Seranthony Dominguez in whatever the highest-leverage situation in the game would be. It would also, on paper, give the Phillies bullpen, much-maligned at times in the season’s first-half, a chance to be one of the league’s better units after the All-Star Break. The Phillies got Pat Neshek and Edubray Ramos back just prior to the All-Star Break. Luis Garcia shouldn’t be far behind. If you add Britton to the group that already includes the aforementioned Dominguez, the Phillies bullpen would look pretty formidable.

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After tearing his Achilles this past offseason, Britton didn’t appear in a game until June. While two outliers in June caused his ERA to spike to 6.23, Britton has been excellent thus far in July. In six appearances, Britton has three saves, a 0.00 ERA and has allowed just three hits. While the velocity on his sinker has seen some slight regression, it’s still coming in at an average of 94.5 miles-per-hour.

Like Machado, Britton is eligible for free-agency at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Also like Machado, if acquired, the Phillies presumably would hope to retain Britton past the 2018 season.

ESPN‘s Buster Olney reported last weekend that the Phillies view New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia as another potential option as they looked to upgrade their bullpen.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Walter Eagles

    July 18, 2018 at 8:55 am

    The Phils youth movement has and will continue to improve. At the start of the season all I heard was bring up Crawford Kingery Hoskins, etc because they are ready but they were not really ready. Mistakes on the field have been the reason for those close games loses and it wasn’t limited to the young. Injuries always take their toll also.

    More than anything we need a proven CLOSER. We need to dump bone head relievers who cannot pitch to the defense on the field. Yes there are young possibilities but they can be totally ruined if rushed – look at Neris & Gomez.

    There’s no shame in getting beat by good starting pitching its a part of the game. Turning around those loses takes timely hitting and team work using all the tools available and EXPERIENCE to know when & how to do that. Swinging for the fence when a damn single would make the difference is mental not physical liability. I see that in the young mostly and that relates to management.

    Bobby Cox lamented in his final yrs that throwing away the youth for what they believed was immediate pennant winning player was a huge mistake. Upper management needs to spend $$ on a proven hitting coach who teaches the time honored fundamentals rather than the big golf swing for a one time win. If one watches the young and their approach at the plate you definitely can see how statistical analysis at play. Within the first 4 pitches they have 2 strikes or are out as a result. They are not swinging at what they see, rather they swing on league % & pitch count. That really helped Ryan Howard didn’t it. Bullshit. Pitchers are successful because they deceive and when they need an out league % don’t mean squat.

    Teddy Baseball stated “you have to get a good pitch to hit” which translates into this … it doesn’t need to be a strike just something you can handle. Think about it.

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