Zack Britton was one of the best relievers in baseball for a long time, posting a 1.84 ERA in 367.1 innings from 2014-20. He struggled with effectiveness and health in 2021, ultimately having his season end early due to Tommy John surgery after a 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings. He tried to come back late last season, but he dealt with arm fatigue in his only appearance and went back on the injured list.
Britton became a free agent after the 2022 season, and he’s still out there on the market. He had a showcase in Florida this morning, and the Dodgers were one of six teams in attendance.
The Dodgers don’t necessarily need another reliever, especially after signing Alex Reyes last week and apparently bringing back Jimmy Nelson. But when a reliever as good as Britton has been is available, it would basically be malpractice not to at least check it out. As they say, you can never have too many good relievers.
Britton is over two years removed from being elite, and he turned 35 in December. It seems doubtful that he’ll return to his previous form, but he wouldn’t necessarily need to be elite to be useful. Alex Vesia is the closest LA has to a sure thing among left-handed relievers, with Caleb Ferguson, Justin Bruihl, and Victor Gonzalez also available. Britton’s been better against lefties than righties in his career, but he’s been excellent against both.
We haven’t heard any reports yet of how Britton looked in his bullpen session, so this might all be much ado about nothing. But if any team can help Britton get back to where he was, it’s the Dodgers.
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