Zach Britton Ruptures Achilles, Out At Least 6 Months

Jessica Allison
December 22, 2017

Orioles superstar third baseman Manny Machado has been the hot man on the trade rumor mill over the course of the past week. Despite an injury-riddled season, however, Britton was still recognized as one of the elite closers in the game heading into the offseason. Now, they face the prospect of releasing Britton, or hoping that he can perform well after his return from injury.

It's going from bad to worse for the Baltimore Orioles.

Arbitration eligible, it was highly likely that Britton was set to receive a raise from the $11.4 million he earned last season.

"It would be a kind of [terrible] way to end my time with the Orioles", Britton said of the prospect that he might have thrown his last pitch in the team's uniform. That's pretty vague, and an injury would fall under that language. Only one year after his move, Britton would be named an All-Star reliever.

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Britton was working out in California when he suffered the injury.

Had the injury occurred a month ago, Britton could have been non-tendered, and the Orioles would have been free from any obligation.

Another guy the O's will have traded six months-to-a-year too late, and once again it turned out in pretty much the worst way imaginable. Whether he'd have enough time to establish that market would depend on how quickly he returned and how well he pitched over what would be no more than six weeks.

The Orioles may still choose to hit the proverbial "big red panic button" and trade away Machado and Brach anyway, giving them a jump-start on a rebuild. The Orioles have a deep bullpen, and right-handers Brad Brach, Mychal Givens and Darren O'Day can help fill Britton's role.

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