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Report: At least six teams are interested in Zach Britton

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Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that “at least” six teams have expressed interest in dealing for Orioles reliever Zach Britton. That list appears to include the Cubs, Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, Braves and Dodgers, though ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the latter two teams may have less interest in working something out, especially as the Dodgers try to remain under the luxury tax threshold. The Braves, on the other hand, may not be able to remain competitive with others teams’ offers unless they’re willing to give up top-shelf prospects, which Crasnick suggests they’re reluctant to do.

Britton, 30, has been severely limited this season due to a lengthy recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He underwent surgery during the offseason and was officially reinstated on June 11; since then, he’s collected four saves and pitched to a 3.45 ERA, 5.7 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings. The left-hander stands to earn $12 million in 2018 and is poised to enter free agency at season’s end.

Crasnick adds that the Orioles are hoping to wrap up a potential deal sometime in the next week. Each one of the eight teams that have been connected to the lefty reliever so far are currently positioned to make a run at the playoffs and could benefit from the extra boost to their bullpen as the second half of the season kicks off. Britton’s last (and only) postseason performance came in 2014, during which he issued two runs, five walks and five strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings before the Orioles got knocked out in the ALCS.

Report: White Sox acquire Yonder Alonso from Indians

Yonder Alonso
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The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.

Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.

While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.