Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton suffers ruptured Achilles

Dec 22, 2017, 00:58
Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton suffers ruptured Achilles

The 29-year-old has been subject to trade rumors as he enters the final two years on his deal with O's.

It's going from bad to worse for the Baltimore Orioles. With Britton under contract for just one more season he would have made a strong trade candidate for a team that is likely headed for a rebuild. Maybe, the Orioles and their top-end closer can come to some sort of a common ground after news of this devastating injury broke. Even though the left-hander was poised for free agency, the Orioles never blinked at tendering him a contract next month because he would have value as either the team's closer in 2018 or as a trade chip.

Speaking with Britton on Wednesday as he was still trying to wrap his head around the injury and its ramifications, he sounded like a player prepared to be released. Yeah, that would be a tough way to kind of go out with the team. If the Orioles did have the depth to withstand a significant injury, it was in their deep, late-inning bullpen arsenal. As soon as I have the surgery and rehab, I can get back to pitching like I can pitch.

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Britton told reporters the injury occurred while he was sprinting. He walked 17 hitters unintentionally in his 37 1/3 innings, which was more than he unintentionally walked (15) in 67 innings in 2016. But that's not something the Orioles typically do, and Britton's agent, Scott Boras, is always eager to allow his clients to test free agency. They had already placed Manny Machado on the trade block, asking for the best offer available.

Thus, it would behoove the Orioles to begin trading off their other valuable assets, such as Zach Britton and Brad Brach, two strong relievers that would fetch a good return on the trade market, such as a starting pitcher to revamp the Orioles rotation.