Report: Phillies Showing Interest in 2-Time All-Star Closer Britton

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

While much hot stove speculation between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles has been surrounding four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado, another one of the club's former All-Stars is reportedly being targeted among Phillies officials, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.

Read: Phillies Brass Ties to Orioles Could Generate Machado, Britton Blockbuster

With the non-waiver trade deadline less than three weeks away, the Phillies have interest in closer Zach Britton, and have "spoken about him" in discussions with the Orioles, per Salisbury.


Britton, 30, is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.342 WHIP this season since being activated from the 60-day disabled list on June 11, recovered from an Achilles surgery. The southpaw finished 11th in American League Most Valuable Player Award race in 2016, with a league-best 63 games finished and a perfect 47-save season.

Read: Phillies Hot Stove: Stark on Eflin, Franco, Machado, Royals

Salisbury writes:

Like Machado, Britton will be a free agent in the offseason. Phillies officials are not keen on giving up multiples of prospects for a rental player, but Britton’s price will be lower than Machado’s. Pretty much every team looking for relief help will have an interest in Britton, so the Orioles can afford to let his market develop. But the Phillies, who could possibly include Maikel Franco in a package, are in the running for him.

Britton, whose best pitch is a hard, sinking fastball, would be a good fit for the Phillies because he is a proven ninth-inning arm and that would allow manager Gabe Kapler to use power-armed Seranthony Dominguez as a high-leverage bullpen wild card as the second half of the season and the pennant race unfolds.

Phillies scouts reportedly attended the Orioles' game against the New York Yankees on Monday. While the club's scouts surely watched Machado, they also likely paid close attention to Britton, who recorded his second save with a hit allowed and a strikeout spanning 15 pitches in the doubleheader opener. 

The Phillies will face Machado, Britton and the Orioles in a makeup game Thursday evening at Camden Yards.

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