The Angels are known to be in the market for left-handed bullpen help, and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale specifies that the Halos “have strong interest” in Zack Britton’s services. The two sides have yet to line up on a contract, as Nightengale writes that the Angels’ interest may only hinge on getting Britton at a lower amount than his asking price of roughly $9MM.
It is easy to understand the team’s hesitation, given that Britton has barely pitched (19 total innings) over the last two seasons due to injury. Bone chips in Britton’s elbow hampered his 2021 performance, and a Tommy John surgery then sidelined the reliever for virtually all of the 2022 campaign. Though Britton recently held a showcase to display his health for scouts, there’s naturally a good amount of uncertainty over what can be expected from the southpaw as he heads into his age-35 season.
From Britton’s perspective, a $9MM guarantee is a reasonable ask for a pitcher who was arguably baseball’s best reliever from 2014-20, posting elite numbers with the Orioles and Yankees. As noted by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Matt Strahm’s two-year, $15MM deal with the Phillies seemed to throw off the market for left-handed relievers, to the point that Britton and fellow free agent southpaws Andrew Chafin and Matt Moore might still be unsigned because they feel they deserve to top Strahm in either total value, average annual value, or both. (Nightengale writes that Chafin and Moore are also looking for around $9MM, though it isn’t clear if that translates to multi-year deal worth $9MM per season, or if either is open to a one-year commitment.)