There’s never a good time to tear your Achilles, but Zach Britton’s timing might’ve been the worst.
The Baltimore Orioles closer ruptured his Achilles tendon while working out in California on Tuesday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday. The two-time American League All-Star is expected to be out four to six months.
Britton, like teammate Manny Machado, is due to become a free agent after the 2019 season, and has been floated around in trade rumors throughout the offseason. But given the severity of Britton’s injury, the Orioles’ chances of getting a sizable return for one of Major League Baseball’s best closers likely are lost. Furthermore, he’ll have a lot of work to do if he wants to earn top-dollar on the free agent market.
At 29 years old, Britton still is in his prime, especially for a closer.
The left-hander is coming an injury-filled season in which he converted 15 of 17 save opportunities. In 2016, he went 47-for-47 in saves to lead the league and posted a sparkling 0.54 ERA — numbers which led to him finishing fourth in the A.L. Cy Young Award voting.
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