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Zach Britton to the Yankees Puts Boston in a Precarious Situation

On Tuesday night, the fledgling Yankees pulled off a move to improve their elite bullpen and to basically spite the Red Sox.

The Yankees acquired two-time All Star closer Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a trio of prospects, which included pitchers Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers, and Cody Carroll.

One could look at this deal as the Yankees wanting to strengthen their already dominant bullpen. They certainly had the prospects and the will to pull the trigger on the trade. Or…

The Yankees traded for Zach Britton strictly to block the Red Sox from getting him.

Britton’s name has been tied to the Red Sox since the beginning of May, as the team was desperately searching for another legit end-of-the-game arm to compliment Craig Kimbrel. Ken Rosenthal even tweeted that the Red Sox were one of the top teams in the running for Britton less than a week ago. However, Brian Cashman, the evil genius that he is, was able to swing a trade that the Red Sox were incapable of pulling off; using their abundance of prospects to get what they want.

There are two main takeaways from the Britton trade.

  1. The Yankees-Red Sox dick measuring contest of the early 2000s is back and in full force (and I love every second of it).
  2. The Red Sox really have no plan B.

Britton seemed to be the ace in the hole for Red Sox fans, as well as the front office. I would hear people all the time say “Well if we get Britton…,” or, “Once we get Britton, we’ll be fine,” but those hypotheticals are now moot.

So where can the Red Sox go from here?

They obviously need help in the bullpen, as evidenced by the pen’s blowup against the 29-73 Orioles on Tuesday night. The starting rotation also needs help too. Eduardo Rodriguez is on the DL, Steven Wright is on the DL, Drew Pomeranz is shaky on a good night.

nathan-eovaldi-no-hitter-bid
Photo: Sports Illustrated

Well, as I was writing this, the Red Sox traded for Nathan Eovaldi, so that fixes one problem.

Dave Dombrowski needs to turn his attention to either Brad Brach, Kyle Barraclough, or Raisel Iglesias. All three have had experience in closing games, though Brach is primarily a setup man, and all three could step in immediately and be more effective than Joe Kelly or Matt Barnes.

What the Red Sox cannot afford to do is sit on their hands and be content with what they have. The Yankees will likely make another big splash, and the Sox needs to stay one step ahead of them. The Sox currently have a five game lead in the division, but it’s not enough. It’s only a matter of time until the Yankees get on a run similar to the one they had in late April and early May.

Make a move Dombrowski.   

Photo: WEEI

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