Colorado Rockies: Could they look at a trade for Baltimore’s Zach Britton?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Just under a year ago, in this article, we talked about how the Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles might be able to work out a trade for Orioles closer Zach Britton. A lot has changed over the course of a year. However, it is still a possibility that the two sides could discuss a potential swap.

According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Orioles are willing to listen to offers for the 29-year-old southpaw. Right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs are the two teams being connected to Britton talks. However, it also makes sense for the Rockies to at least feel out the situation and be a part of the discussion.

With Greg Holland rumored to be turning down a qualifying offer from the Colorado Rockies on Thursday and testing the free agent market, the Rockies will likely be looking at other options for their closer. While Holland is certainly not out of the picture to potentially bring back, Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich said at the general managers meetings currently underway in Orlando told MLB.com in this article

"“We do have some internal kids who might either retain roles or step up into new roles,” Bridich said. “But I do think we are going to have to look to add to our ‘pen, whether it’s via free agency or through trades. With the success [Holland] had, he’ll certainly be a guy we talk to. Whether it’s him or not, I don’t know.“We’re keeping our eyes and ears open to just about everything to try to address additions to our club.”"

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Could that include Britton as well? Potentially, yes.

The positives for Britton in a Rockies uniform include a devastating sinker and the fact that more than 70 percent of the pitches Britton threw that were put into play ended up being ground balls. When Holland was at his best last season, it was because his slider was either missing bats or causing grounders to be hit.

There are negatives with a potential Britton trade, however. Britton did deal with an elbow injury last season. He only pitched 37.1 innings last season after throwing more than 65 the previous three seasons.

He is also in his final year of arbitration with the Orioles for the 2018 season and will be an unrestricted free agent for the 2019 campaign. In a number of ways, it is a similar scenario to the Rockies signing Holland prior to last season. While Holland’s Tommy John surgery was obviously worse than Britton’s elbow issues, if a team trades for Britton they will likely be paying over $12 million after arbitration (per MLBTradeRumors.com) and might likely get the southpaw for just one season.

Next: Looking at internal options for Colorado's closer in 2018

Baltimore is looking to shore up its rotation with some young talent. That is an area where the Rockies seemingly have an abundance of talent at the moment. Could the Rockies and Orioles talk about a potential trade that could benefit both teams? Don’t be surprised if you hear more about it in the days and weeks ahead.

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