Chicago Cubs Rumors: Zach Britton being targeted

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs need a starting pitcher, but adding a top-tier reliever would be just as good.

The Chicago Cubs rumors have been flying around as the MLB trade deadline approaches. The latest news involves one of the top closers in the game. According to reports, the Cubs are currently targeting Baltimore Orioles closer, Zach Britton.

In fact, just yesterday I suggested that Britton was someone that the Cubs needed to check-in on before the deadline. Today, it appears they are serious players in the Britton sweepstakes. While the Cubs clearly need to add a starting pitcher to give Jon Lester some help, a reliever like Britton could have almost as great an impact.

That’s because he lengthens the bullpen, and as a result, puts less of a burden on the starters. This would help an already struggling starting rotation in that Joe Maddon would be able to lift some of his less productive pitchers earlier in the game.

The Cubs already added one reliever this week in Jesse Chavez, so Britton would be one more piece to the puzzle. At the end of the day, the goal is to get 27 outs — it doesn’t matter how you do it.

So what exactly would Britton bring to the Cubs bullpen? Well, he did miss a good portion of the first half of the season while recovering from an Achilles injury. However, he has gotten back into a groove pretty quickly.

He finished the first half strong, throwing seven consecutive scoreless innings. When healthy, he’s one of the best relievers in the game, as he showed in 2016 when he saved 47 games.

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The other nice thing about Britton is that he is set to become a free agent after the season, so the asking price for a rental such as him is going to be less than some of the other available options who are under team control for a couple of years.

Again, at the end of the day, the Cubs’ goal is to record 27 outs a night. Britton would go a long way towards helping them accomplish that goal.