Yankees: 4 players Brian Cashman could sell at the trade deadline

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Zack Britton #53 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

3. Zack Britton

If your offense isn’t producing, you can’t win close games, and those in high-leverage situations continue to drop the ball, then what’s the sense in carrying an elite bullpen?

The first aspect of any non-contender roster that should go are a team’s cast of relievers, especially if they have high-priced ones. And the Yankees have a few, one of whom is Zack Britton.

Britton has yet to step on the mound in a regular season game this year due to offseason elbow surgery, but he’s expected back soon. If he can perform well for the next month and a half, why wouldn’t a contender looking for a closer seek out his services? He’s making $13 million this year and $14 million in 2022, which isn’t bad for what he brings to the table when healthy.

He owns a 2.14 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 90 strikeouts across 105.1 innings for the Yankees over the last two-ish years. He induces a ton of ground balls. He’s got a 3.13 postseason ERA across 21 games. You’ve seen the demand for relievers over the last five years or so. Guys who are simply having a good half-season despite their numbers from previous years are going for top dollar.

Britton has a tremendous career track record, can be a setup man or a closer, and will just need to stay the course upon returning to help the Yankees acquire a haul. The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers sure could use some bullpen help. There’s simply no need for the Yankees to pay top-dollar to the game’s best relievers if they’re not going to contend.