The Yanks upgraded their bullpen, and the probable casualty is Chasen Shreve. The Yanks acquired Zack Britton from Baltimore for three prospects.
Britton, 30, is a lefty reliever coming back from an injury. He is 1-0, 3.45, 4 saves, ERA+ 122 in 16 games this year.
Since being converted from a starter to a closer in 2014, Britton is 12-5, 1.72, 139 saves, ERA+ 242. He led the league in games finished in 2015 and 2016, and his 47 saves led the AL in 2016. He is a 2x All-Star who finished 4th in CYA voting and 11th in MVP voting in 2016, when his ERA was a miniscule 0.54. He had 37 saves in 2014, 36 in 2015.
A definite upgrade over Shreve as a second lefty in the bullpen behind Chapman, Britton now joins Betances, Holder, Warren, Robertson, Green and Chapman to form perhaps baseball’s best bullpen. If Britton gets back to what he’s been since 2014, 1.72 ERA, wow.
Britton is a free agent after the season, so you wonder if this is only a rental.
But if there is no really good starting pitcher on the market, the Yanks just improved an already great bullpen to shorten games considerably. With this bullpen, starters may only need to go five innings.
Going to Baltimore are:
Dillon Tate, 24, RHP, #9 prospect. 5-2, 3.38 at AA Trenton. Yanks got him in the Beltran deal. Scratched from tonight’s start b/c of the trade.
Josh Rogers, 24, LHP. 6-8, 3.95 for AAA SWB this year.
Cody Carroll, 25, RHP. 3-0, 2.38, 9 Saves for SWB this year. But he was stuck behind all those bullpen arms, and remember, Tommy Kahnle is stuck at AAA. There is no room right now for Kahnle. Think about that.
Tate, Rogers and Carroll are all players who would have had to go on the 40 man roster after the season. The Yanks also have Sheffield, Abreu, Loaisiga and Acevedo, who as starters, are probably rated higher than Tate or Rogers. There are only so many guys you can keep and who can make a rotation or a team.
Houston was another team interested in Britton. I don’t know if Britton is just a two month rental or if he’ll sign with the Yanks as a free agent after the year. But as for now, the Yanks upgraded an already powerful bullpen. We’ll see if those prospects develop, but for now, Tate was a 2 levels away from the majors, and Carroll was blocked by several outstanding relievers.