The Boston Red Sox come out of the All-Star break with a Major League best 68-30 record, meaning that even winning only half of their remaining games gives the Sox their first 100-win season since 1946, as Baseball Reference historical data shows. As a result, Boston appears poised to make a serious World Series run, and if they can get there, it would be their fourth series championship in 15 years — after an 86-year championship drought.
According to a report Friday by local Boston radio station WEEI, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski may be of a mind to take no chances, finding extra help for Boston’s already-strong bullpen in the Baltimore Orioles’ two-time All-Star closer Zach Britton.
The Red Sox already have perhaps the game’s best closer in 30-year-old, nine-year veteran Craig Kimbrel, who made his seventh All-Star team this season and had already registered 30 saves by the break. Kimbrel has struck out 62 in just 40 2/3 innings, per Baseball Reference. But Britton is still getting back to his previous form after a missing two-and-a-half months of the season with an achilles tendon injury.
Britton would likely slot into a seventh- or eighth-inning role for the Red Sox, who have reportedly been eyeing Britton for about two weeks at least, as Inquisitr reported.
The Orioles, according to Boston Globe Red Sox correspondent Nick Carafrdo, have already scouted the top-ranked prospect in the Boston minor league system, Michael Chavis, in anticipation of a deal for Britton.
Chavis, a third-baseman, was Boston’s first-round draft pick in 2014, the year after the last Red Sox World Series triumph. He was selected 26th overall out of Sprayberry Senior High School in Marietta, Georgia. Though MLB.com rates Chavis as the top prospect in the Red Sox minor league system, the 22-year-old righty’s pro career got off to a slow start — and suffered a setback when he was suspended for 80 games this April when he tested positive for the performance enhancing drug DHMCT, according to MinorLeagueBall.
Since returning from the suspension, Chavis had played five games for the Double-A Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, with just three hits in 20 at-bats, though one of those three hits was a home run. Chavis strongly denies that took a PED, according to MassLive.
“When I found out about this, I actually said, ‘Are you sure you called the right person?'” Chavis told the site. “Cause I was like, ‘There’s no way. There’s absolutely no way.'”
The Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, and several other teams have also shown interest in acquiring Britton, according to FanCred Sports correspondent Jon Heyman.