The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen has been the strength of this team all season long. But rumors indicate that David Stearns has interest in adding Zach Britton from the Orioles.
With the Orioles beginning a firesale, Brewers GM David Stearns has been trying to get himself a piece of it. He almost acquired the prize of the firesale in Manny Machado, but came up short. He also has interest in Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman.
Now, according to reports, the Brewers are also involved in talks for star closer Zach Britton.
As you can see, there is a lot of competition for Zach Britton. The Milwaukee Brewers have the necessary prospects to land him, to be sure. But being willing to part with those prospects is a different story.
David Stearns has publicly stated after losing out on Machado that the Orioles were demanding certain players that the Brewers deemed untouchable in negotiations. That’s why they didn’t get a deal done. Britton won’t cost as much as Machado, but that could only lead Stearns to make more players untouchable in negotiations.
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Why Zach Britton?
Britton has been a star closer for the past several seasons. Injuries forced him to get a late start to his season, but has finally shown signs of being his old self over the past couple weeks. Britton hasn’t allowed a run since June 27th.
He has late inning experience and is another high powered left handed pitcher that Craig Counsell can pair with Josh Hader late in games. With Britton, Hader, Jeffress, Knebel, and a returning Albers, the Milwaukee Brewers will have more late inning power arms than they know what to do with.
The strength that is the bullpen gets even stronger with a Britton addition. When it comes to the playoffs, the bullpen becomes basically the most important unit on the team. You can never have enough power arms to get you through a playoff series.
Britton is a rental, becoming a free agent at season’s end. With in-house closer Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress along with Josh Hader as late inning closer candidates for next year, it’s doubtful the 31 year old Britton would want to stick around after this season unless he was promised the closer’s role.
The cost to get Britton may be increased simply due to the high number of teams interested in acquiring him. Stearns may not want to get into a bidding war for a player at a position that he’s not in desperate need of. But he leaves no stone unturned in his search for upgrades at the deadline.
The Milwaukee Brewers will be in contention for another playoff spot this September, and an aggressive approach at the deadline may be necessary to ensure the Crew makes it to October this time.