Baltimore Orioles Closer Zach Britton Ruptures Achilles

Dec 22, 2017, 00:57
Baltimore Orioles Closer Zach Britton Ruptures Achilles

It was not immediately clear how long Britton would be out, but reports suggested a minimum four to six months. Since he's been tendered a contract offer, but hasn't negotiated a deal or had his salary decided by an arbitration hearing, that 30 days of pay would be prorated from last year's $11.4 million, which would be roughly $1.8 million. Either way, this may have already destroyed the Orioles season before it even begins.

And for a pitcher who can easily return to the form that made him one of the best closers in the game, and a big piece of the Orioles' winning formula both on the field and in the clubhouse, his immediate future with the team is now in question. That is, of course, assuming that the achilles injury fully heals and that Britton is in shape to return.

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Britton, 29, looks unlikely to see the mound until the second half of the season. In fact, Britton was the best closer in baseball in 2016, finishing fourth in AL Cy Young voting after going 47 for 47 in saves with a 0.54 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Due to a strained left elbow, the Orioles placed Britton on the 60-day disabled list on May 5.

This offseason, it was expected that the Orioles would revisit a potential deal for Britton. His struggles previous year, coupled with his forearm woes, meant that Baltimore should have been looking to move on.

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There's never a good time to tear your Achilles, but Zach Britton's timing might've been the worst. Britton's name was bandied about in trade rumors prior to this injury, so it's possible these two have a bit more leverage in talks now. With rumors already swirling about a potential Manny Machado trade, which could start an all-out rebuild for the organization, this puts the Orioles in a very hard position. Regardless, the injury to Zach Britton just delivered another body blow to an already downtrodden Orioles fanbase.

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