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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.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.