Manny Machado isn't the only member of the Baltimore Orioles expected to be on the move. Left-handed reliever Zach Britton has been garnering interest on the trade market, and the Philadelphia Phillies are the latest team to inquire about the closer.
The Phillies have reportedly spoken to Orioles officials about a potential trade for the two-time All-Star, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Since his return to the mound from a ruptured Achilles on June 12, Britton has mostly been effective. His 4.26 ERA stems entirely from 1 1/3 innings over two outings during which he allowed six earned runs. Over his remaining 11 outings, including the last five, Britton hasn't seen a single run cross the plate.
He also seems to have weathered through some shaky command issues. After walking three batters in his very first appearance, he's only issued four free passes in 11 2/3 innings.
The Phillies' bullpen has been fine, posting a 4.04 ERA as a unit, but would-be closer Hector Neris was an unmitigated disaster in his 30 innings of work. He had an ERA of 6.90 before he was jettisoned to Triple-A at the end of June.
Acquiring a reliever of Britton's pedigree - 120 saves from 2014-2016 - would help solidify the back end, though there's no word what the Phillies would have to give up to acquire him.
And if you listen to catcher Caleb Joseph, it may be a good time to pounce.
"The last two to three outings, he's getting really, really close," Joseph said, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. "And you can tell by a lot of his swings, especially the type of contact they're making in terms of foul balls. And of course, the swing and misses. I have arguably the best seat in the house and he's really tough to catch right now, and that's a really good sign."