Once Yankees fans say that Dillon Tate was scratched from his start on Tuesday evening for Double-A Trenton Thunder, we knew Brian Cashman was dealing. According to reports, the Yankees have acquired two-time All-Star closer Zach Britton from their rival Baltimore Orioles. In just 15.2 innings this season coming off of the disabled list, Britton has posted a 3.45 ERA while recording 13 strikeouts.
In return for Britton, the Yankees will be giving up three prospects, two of which are eligible for the rule 5 draft after the season, and who would be hard for the Yankees to retain. Those players are Dillon Tate and Josh Rodgers. Along with them is the Yankees number 15 prospect Cody Carroll who has posted great numbers in Triple-A for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders (2.83 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP). Josh Rodgers another Triple-A pitcher, is a starter, who was knocking on the door of the Bronx and should likely get a chance in the near future with Baltimore. Rodgers had a 3.95 ERA this season. The prized possession of this trade however was Double-A Starter Dillon Tate. Tate was the 4th overall pick in the 2015 draft by Texas and was later traded to the Yankees for Carlos Beltran in 2016. Tate is the Yankees number 9 overall prospect in their stacked system. He is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA so far this season.
All three pieces are moveable for the Yankees though, and I would argue that Carroll was actually the biggest chip in this trade due to his MLB readiness and the fact that he is a proven reliever. Tate on the other hand is the best prospect in the trade, but was moveable due to his rule 5 eligibility and the fact that the 8 prospects ranked higher than him, 6 are pitchers, including 5 right handers, who were all more MLB ready.
This deal is a win win for both teams however. The Orioles get 3 pitching prospects who will soon be MLB ready and the Yankees add to the strength of their team, the bullpen. The Yankees reinvented the term power bullpen in 2016 when they had a three-headed monster in Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Now, the Yankees bullpen is even more stacked. With the emergence this season of Johnathan Holder, the Yankees now have a 6-headed monster with Holder, Green, Robertson, Betances, Britton and Chapman (not to mention Tommy Kahnle who will be recalled some point this season). Most importantly though for the Yankees, they don’t have to face Britton in October, as the Red Sox, Astros and Cubs were all rumored to be in on Britton as well. Overall, I think this was a great move for the Yankees – and the right move.