Dodgers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Zach Britton, Brad Brach and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2018

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton throws to the Texas Rangers during a baseball game in Baltimore, Thursday, July 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the busiest teams on the MLB trade market in recent years. 

Ahead of Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado for a quintet of prospects, but that isn't the only upgrade they're looking to make. 

With Machado already in the lineup, the Dodgers are in search of bullpen help to alleviate some of the pressure on closer Kenley Jansen's shoulders. 

The relief market is shifting by the day, as a few trades have taken place since the All-Star break, but there are still plenty of players available who could help the Dodgers down the stretch. 

Below is a look at the latest buzz surrounding the Dodgers' trade targets. 


Zach Britton 

The Dodgers are one of many teams involved in talks for the Baltimore Orioles' Zach Britton, who is deemed the best reliever left on the market. 

Although the Dodgers are discussing a potential deal with the O's, they don't appear to be the front-runner for the 30-year-old yet, as the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs are more active in talks, per MASN's Roch Kubatko: 

Roch Kubatko @masnRoch

While it’s true #dodgers in talks with #orioles regarding Britton, hearing #astros, #redsox and #cubs more active.

The main concern for the Dodgers if they acquire Britton is his salary, as the $4.5 million he's still owed would put them near the luxury-tax threshold, which would force them to make a corresponding move, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal: 

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Britton still owed more than $4.5M. #Dodgers up against luxury-tax threshold. If they acquire Britton, they almost certainly will need to purge another salary to remain under. https://t.co/vESaGQbivv

If the Dodgers find a way to get a deal done for Britton, they would be seen as one of the biggest winners of the non-waiver trade deadline, and they'd be viewed as one of the top contenders to win the World Series. 

Britton's experience as a closer would help the Dodgers in eighth-inning situations, with Jansen waiting to take over in the ninth. 

Gail Burton/Associated Press

By possessing a dynamic one-two punch in Britton and Jansen, the Dodgers could turn into an unstoppable team in the postseason if their starters are able to go six or seven innings. 

Since Britton spent time as a starter earlier in his career, it wouldn't be out of the question for the Dodgers to use him starting in the seventh to bridge the gap to Jansen. 

However, the Dodgers might be in a less-than-ideal position in their attempts to acquire Britton since they already sent five prospects to Baltimore for Machado.

With Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia already dealt, the Orioles might try to drive up the price for Britton, knowing he's the most coveted trade target. 

If that occurs, the Dodgers might be outpriced by other contenders willing to go all-in for a championship by sacrificing a few key prospects. 


If the Dodgers are unable to bring in Britton, they could turn to another part of the Orioles bullpen to bolster their relief pitching. 

According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers are interested in Brad Brach in addition to Britton. 

Brach, who unlike Britton pitched since the start of the season, has 10 saves in 41 appearances for the Orioles, but he possesses a 4.97 ERA in 38 innings. 

The 32-year-old right-hander would be a downgrade from Britton, but he'd still be an addition who could help Jansen throughout the final two months of the regular season and playoffs. 

Jim Mone/Associated Press

A year ago, Brach recorded a 3.18 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 68 innings, and he gained experience as a closer after Britton went down with an Achilles injury.

While he isn't a big fish on the trade market like Britton, Brach might be the better option for the Dodgers if they're looking to trade away fewer prospects while still improving the bullpen. 

One of the downfalls to acquiring Brach instead of Britton would be the lack of a left-handed power arm in front of Jansen, but the Dodgers could look elsewhere. 

Other options include Miami's Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider, who could move to the forefront of the relief market if the Miami Marlins believe they can receive favorable packages in return. 

A surprise name or two could always pop up as well, which might lead the Dodgers in another direction, but for now, their focus appears to be on the two Orioles relievers. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.