The Braves have checked in on Orioles reliever Zach Britton and are searching far and wide for relief help, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. It remains to be seen if Alex Anthopoulos will dip into his wealth of prospects, though.
Britton, 30, is in the final year of his contract and is owed roughly $5 million through the end of 2018. He hasn't been as good this season as in past ones with a 3.68 ERA and 4.30 FIP (he’s walking a ton of batters, too) although he may still be shaking off some rust after rupturing his Achilles during the offseason and missing the first three months.
As we all know, the Braves could use a reliever or two to help solidify what has been a rocky bullpen since day one. Dan Winkler and Shane Carle showed signs of fatigue as the first half came to a close, and Arodys Vizcaino is on the disabled list for the second time with a concerning shoulder ailment. It’s hard to imagine the Braves staying in the thick of the NL East race (and the ultra-competitive wild card race) without bullpen reinforcements.
Will the Braves (better yet — should the Braves) dip into their plethora of prospects to address this year’s bullpen? Ideally they would add relievers with multiple years of control — just like the Indians did yesterday with the acquisition of Brad Hand and Adam Cimber — although guys with control extending past 2018 will obviously cost more. It’s a fascinating spot to be in for Anthopoulos, and I’d imagine the next week will tell us a lot about where the Braves are going. They open up the second half with five games at Washington and Miami.