Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton suffers ruptured Achilles

Zach Britton Reportedly Ruptured Achilles, Out at Least 6 Months with Injury

Entering the MLB Winter Meetings, the Orioles seem poised to keep third baseman Manny Machado for his final season - before he becomes eligible for free agency - and closer Zach Britton, who was close to being traded last July. Despite an injury-riddled season, however, Britton was still recognized as one of the elite closers in the game heading into the offseason. "Last year [being on the disabled list was disappointing], but those were minor things".

Achilles injuries can be career-enders which, naturally, has many Orioles fans and executives anxious about the exceptional left-hander. If Britton came out this season and put together a year that lined up with 2014-16, he was going to get a huge payday. He won't have been able to answer the questions about his forearm woes over the course of a full season, which are sometimes the harbinger of a UCL tear and Tommy John surgery.

This most recent injury hurts the Orioles on two fronts: not only have they lost their elite closer for a good portion of the 2018 season but this also prevents them from potentially trading Britton this offseason. If a team was looking to trade for a closer, he's the man now.

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Britton had 15 saves and a 2.89 earned-run average with the Orioles this past season. 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.

Perhaps Britton's injury changes matters.

Britton, 29, looks unlikely to see the mound until the second half of the season. It's entirely possible this injury helps push them more toward a massive rebuild, because.



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