Orioles right-hander Brad Brach may be receiving more trade interest than closer Zach Britton, as there is “heavy traffic on” Brach’s services, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. Brach would come at a lower prospect cost than Britton, hence the larger degree of interest. Both pitchers have one year of arbitration eligibility left, with Brach ($3.05MM this season) on pace for a much lower salary than Britton ($11.4MM) even though Brach has pitched very well as Baltimore’s interim closer while Britton has spent much of the year on the DL. Brach already drew a lot of looks in the offseason and may be even more popular now that teams know they can potentially use him as a closer as well as a setup man.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- The Red Sox have placed two relievers on the 10-day DL in as many days, with Joe Kelly sidelined with a left hamstring strain yesterday and veteran righty Blaine Boyer announced this morning as suffering from a right elbow strain. The hard-throwing Kelly has a 1.49 ERA over 36 1/3 relief innings for the Sox this season, with peripheral stats indicating some good fortune (.228 BABIP, 88.1% strand rate) to go along with Kelly’s 54.9% grounder rate. Boyer, meanwhile, has a 3.00 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 3.33 K/BB rate over 24 innings after signing a minor league deal with Boston in April. The Red Sox were already rumored to be looking for relief help at the deadline, and it’s likely that the search will intensify after losing two bullpen arms.
- The Rays asked the Marlins about relief pitching when the two sides were negotiating the Adeiny Hechavarria trade last month, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. With the Rays looking for bullpen help and Miami seemingly open to moving any veteran player, it seems that the two sides are likely to re-open talks as we approach the deadline.
- Also from Topkin, he reports that one team (not necessarily the Marlins) asked the Rays for both Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames in exploratory discussions about relievers. Needless to say, it would be a big surprise if either top prospect was actually dealt, though it gives an example of the high price tag that teams are placing on top-shelf relief pitching at the deadline.
- The Cubs checked in on Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman during their wide-ranging search for young and controllable pitching, Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com writes. Archer has long been linked to Chicago in trade rumors, though the most recent talks unsurprisingly went nowhere since the Rays want to keep their ace to make a playoff run. As for Stroman, the Blue Jays informed the Cubs that the 26-year-old righty would cost Chicago a player from its big league roster. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently observed in his “Taking Inventory” analysis on the Jays, Stroman probably isn’t a likely trade candidate unless Toronto decides to embark on a total rebuild. The Cubs, of course, acquired Jose Quintana earlier this week and are reportedly still on the lookout to add another controllable arm to their rotation.