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Yankees land Orioles reliever Zach Britton in rare deal between New York and Baltimore

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Multiple prospects are going to Baltimore.

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After teams such as the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Brewers were reportedly in on talks for Orioles reliever Zach Britton, the Yankees have landed the prized Baltimore reliever in a trade that will send multiple prospects back to the Orioles.

Britton, one of the most highly valued rentals on the market in a league that has a lot of teams looking for pitching help, has put up a 4.43 FIP with 5.7 BB/9, 7.5 SO/9 and a 1.340 WHIP in 15.1 innings. While that’s not a stellar line, his 122 ERA+ spells out where he’s at more clearly, as it took him a bit to get back to his true form after an achilles injury kept him out the first few months of the season.

In 37.1 innings in 2017, Britton had a 2.89 ERA with a 3.40 FIP and a 4.3 BB/9 rate. In his seven July appearances he’s let up only three hits and no runs in seven innings. That’s what the Yankees are paying for to make sure they have as strong a bullpen as possible in the race for first place in the AL East and beyond.

Brandon Drury, a promising Yankees prospect who has unfortunately been shuttled back and forth between New York and the minors due to a lack of sensible spot for him, is not part of this deal. Which means the Yankees still possess a good, young trade chip that they can afford to part with if they want to make any more big deals before the deadline (as they are reportedly still very open to adding a starter before next week as well) or in the offseason.

Ninth-ranked prospect in the Yankees’ farm system Dillon Tate, who was pulled from his minor league game earlier on Tuesday night, is the center of this deal. He was drafted by the Rangers in 2015 and ended up in New York’s system in the Carlos Beltran trade. The right handed pitcher is currently putting up a 3.38 ERA with a 1.110 WHIP in 15 starts for the Double A Trenton Thunder.

Also included in the deal are Triple A reliever Cody Carroll, the Yankees’ number 15 prospect, and Josh Rogers, a Triple A left hander. With a backlog of good prospects who would have to be protected from this year’s Rule 5 draft in order to keep them, it’s a smart move for New York to flip them for help now.

Britton will join a bullpen that includes such top arms as Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, David Robertson, and Jonathan Holder. They have the best bullpen ERA in the league at 2.75, more than 20 points lower than the no-slouch Astros bullpen in second.

So while Britton isn’t necessarily crucial to their plans right now (barring bad injury luck) he’ll be a huge part of shoring up the bullpen in the postseason, where arms will be a lot more tired and they might need a lot more help for their starters if someone gets rocked or if they have to play in the Wild Card game before battling in an ALDS matchup.

This is a also a rare trade between the two AL East teams, which means that even if the longtime Angelos family refusal to trade with New York hasn’t completely come to an end, Angelos sons John and Luis have clearly decided a momentary thaw is in order. The last pre-deadline trade between these two teams was in 1989, so something has changed.