Zach Britton
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Report: Rangers, Yankees in on Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino

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The Rangers and Yankees are reportedly pursuing free agent relievers Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. While the Yankees have been linked to the pair from the get-go, this is the first time the Rangers have emerged as a potential suitor for either pitcher.

Britton, 31, was dealt to the Yankees in advance of the 2018 trade deadline and finished the year with a cumulative seven saves and a 3.10 ERA, 4.6 BB/9, and 7.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings. Granted, that’s a far cry from his sub-3.00 ERAs and 30+ save totals of seasons past, due in no small part to the recurring forearm and Achilles tendon injuries the left-hander has worked to overcome. Previous reports from Jayson Stark of ESPN indicated that Britton had been angling for a four-year contract this offseason, and it’s not yet clear whether the Yankees or Rangers have any intention of meeting that demand given the pitcher’s recent struggles on and off the mound.

Unlike Britton, the 33-year-old Ottavino is coming off of his strongest season yet. The right-hander rounded out a seven-year run with the Rockies in 2018 with six saves and a remarkable 2.43 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, and 13.0 SO/9 across 77 2/3 innings. He’s attracted a fair amount of interest this winter, with the Red Sox, White Sox, and Rockies all rumored suitors, though the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders said Saturday that the Rockies are no longer expected to be in the mix. Ottavino may no longer be able to shake up Coors Field, but there’s no question that he could help bolster one of the strongest bullpens in the American League, and Rosenthal adds that while the Yankees still need to solve some questions in their rotation, picking up both relievers isn’t “out of the question” just yet.

With the Rangers, things are less clear. They have a stable foundation in closer José Leclerc and right-handers Jesse Chavez, Chris Martin, and Connor Sadzeck, but may not be in a position to make a big enough offer to net someone of Ottavino or Britton’s caliber — assuming either (or both) would jump at the chance to make a big impact for a non-contender in the first place.

Orioles set new MLB record with 259th home run allowed

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Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.

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A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.

The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.

David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.

The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.