Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Yankees acquired Orioles closer Zach Britton in exchange for RHP Dillon Tate, RH reliever Cody Carroll, and LHP Josh Rogers.
According to people familiar with the trade talks, the Orioles also liked Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial.
It's worth noting that, according to sources, the Yanks were unwilling to trade Florial for Manny Machado. The parameters of the offer, previously unreported, were a Chance Adams/Albert Abreu type (both ranked among the Yankees' Top 5 prospects) and Drury.
But Machado was a luxury item for the Yanks. They need pitching, and the available rotation options do not inspire them.
This is a big trade for the Yankees, a club boasting arguably one of the best bullpens in the game (AL-best 2.75 ERA and 448 strikeouts entering Tuesday's game) before adding Britton. Now it is a no-brainer with four relievers with closer experience and dominant abilities.
Starting pitching might be taking a back seat because of the market (for now), but Britton's addition is also insurance against Aroldis Chapman's knee issues. I'm not suggesting Britton would close, but the bullpen would still be very strong as a consequence of his being aboard if Chapman was to succumb to a stint on the disabled list.
The importance of the bullpen in the postseason cannot be understated and Britton's acquisition would make the Yankees an even more formidable opponent in a playoff series. Further, the Yankees landing Britton, who finally seems to be healthy and pitching closer to his dominant 2016 self, also keeps the lefty away from playoff contenders in Houston and Boston.
Give the Yankees credit for taking a flyer on Tate, who was a bit of a reclamation project and suffered through some shoulder injuries along the way. He's having a healthy and strong season, one that a club would expect to see from a No. 4 overall pick. The Yankees were able to extract that from Tate and use him to acquire a nasty reliever.
Carroll and Rogers, like Tate were going to have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason or be lost in the Rule-5 Draft and the Yankees clearly believe they were expendable for a game-changing reliever.