Yankees Trade Rumors: NY Interested in Relievers Zach Britton, Brad Hand

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 27:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are looking for bullpen upgrades, with Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton and San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand on their list of targets, Fancred's Jon Heyman reported Saturday.

Relief pitching has been a strength for the Yankees in 2018. Their relievers have combined for 6.1 WAR, which is the most in MLB.

However, the last few years have demonstrated a team can never have too many top-end relievers for the stretch run and postseason.

The Yankees also had a scare when Aroldis Chapman exited Saturday's 8-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays after throwing six pitches. According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, Chapman was suffering from left knee tendinitis.

Hand would be the preferable option for New York. He has a 3.26 FIP and is averaging a career-high 13.28 strikeouts per nine innings. Britton, meanwhile, has allowed six earned runs in 9.2 innings since returning from a ruptured Achilles.

Hand is also signed for two more years and has a $10 million club option in 2021, whereas Britton will be a free agent this winter.

Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter placed the Yankees 10th in his most recent MLB organizational rankings. While the team has the pieces to meet San Diego's likely asking price for Hand, one could question whether that deal is worth it for the Yankees when their bullpen is already as good as it is.

Then there are the pitfalls inherent with acquiring Britton. Even before his Achilles injury, the left-hander battled forearm problems in 2017 and saw his sinker velocity fall from 97.4 mph in 2016 to 96.4 mph last year, according to Brooks Baseball.

Ultimately, it wouldn't be that surprising to see the Yankees avoid making any noteworthy bullpen additions.


Stats are courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.