By Alfredo Alvarez
Miami – Zach Britton is officially a Yankee. The Bombers finally closed the deal with the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, in which they sent prospects Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers to rotate as left-handed relievers.
Who is Zach Britton?
Britton, born December 22, 1987, in Panorama City, California. The youngest of three siblings, Zach was raised in Santa Clarita, California. He went to Canyon High School until his parents moved to Texas, where he graduated from Weatherford High School, and played outfielder and pitcher. Texas A & M offered him a scholarship, but at age 19 he was selected in the third round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He made his Major League debut on April 3, 2011 against the Tampa Rays as a starting pitcher, and won the game, pitching 6 innings, allowing only one run and 3 hits.
His first 3 seasons with the Orioles were as a starter and he did not do very well. He won 18 and lost 17 with a high 4.77 ERA. In the 2014 season the Orioles decided to start their season with Britton as a reliever, and the strategy was a success. As a closer for 4 seasons, Zach saved 139 games, with a ERA to put in the Louvre Museum next to the Gioconda: 1.72. He added 257 strikeouts in one season in 2016, where his effectiveness was 0.54 while saving 47 games.
What can Britton bring to the Yankees?
Undoubtedly, this is an important and very necessary move for the Bombers. Although there’s still a need for a starter, a seasoned, left-handed relief pitcher will certainly do well for the troops of the Bronx, and one with Britton’s quality is undoubtedly a gold acquisition.
The Yankees only have a left-handed situational reliever in Chasen Shreve, who has not had a good season at all (4.25 ERA). The only other left-hander in the Yankees’ bullpen is closer Aroldis Chapman.
Therefore, this gives a lot of depth to the bullpen, and more rest to the important relievers, which often have pitch for up to 4 consecutive days.
Have the Yankees made all their moves?
Hopefully not, but for now this is an excellent transaction that will heighten the competition with the Red Sox and Astros as the best three teams in the American League.
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