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Orioles trade Zach Britton to Yankees

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Update #3 (11:47 PM ET): The trade is official as the Orioles have made an announcement.

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Update #2 (9:07 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Orioles will receive Tate, Josh Rogers, and Cody Carroll from the Yankees.

Rogers, 24, was selected by the Yankees in the 11th round of the 2015 draft. The lefty has spent his 2018 campaign with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, putting up a 3.95 ERA with an 83/29 K/BB ratio in 109 1/3 innings. He is not listed in the Yankees’ Top 30 prospect list by MLB Pipeline.

Carroll, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander has pitched 41 2/3 innings of relief for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, compiling a 2.38 ERA with a 55/18 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline ranks him at No. 15 in the Yankees’ system.

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Update (9:01 PM ET): Both sides have agreed to the deal, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports.

SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Orioles and Yankees are close to a deal involving closer Zach Britton. The two clubs are reviewing medicals for the players involved. Martino calls the deal “far down the road but not done.” Martino adds that prospect Dillon Tate is likely heading to the Orioles if the trade gets finalized.

Britton, 30, made his season debut on June 12 after recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered during an offseason workout. In 15 2/3 innings this season, he has four saves with a 3.45 ERA and a 13/10 K/BB ratio. Britton also missed two months last season with a strained left forearm.

Britton would bolster the Yankees’ bullpen, which already has the league’s lowest ERA at 2.75. He would slot in behind closer Aroldis Chapman, who uncharacteristically walked three batters without recording an out in his most recent appearance on Saturday.

Tate, 24, is the Yankees’ No. 9 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The right-hander was selected by the Rangers in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2015 draft. The Rangers sent him to the Yankees along with Erik Swanson and Nick Green in the Carlos Beltran trade.

We’ll have more details for you about the supposed Britton deal as they emerge.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

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According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.