Feeling a bit down in the dumps this holiday season, Birdland? With all the talk of the team trying to trade Manny Machado, along with the usual lack of movement from the front office when it comes to signing ACTUAL major league pitchers who might be able to help the team win games, it’s been quite a glum offseason so far.
Well, this morning, Ken Rosenthal threw cold
water acid all over our already frowning faces.
BREAKING: Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his Achilles yesterday working out in California. Expected to be out at least six months.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2017
Dan Duquette confirmed @Ken_Rosenthal report that Zach Britton ruptured Achilles working out in Calif. #orioles found out last night. "We’re trying to get our arms around it and it looks like surgery is indicated."
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 20, 2017
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.
There had been some reports that a couple of the teams interested in Machado were also hoping to perhaps package Britton in any deal. So much for that. And so much for what was likely to be one of the team’s top trade chips in July, should the first couple months go the way many of us fear they will.
On top of how awful this is for the team’s already bleak 2018 outlook, it really sucks for Zach Britton personally. The guy has been a pleasure to watch dominate hitters for the past couple seasons, and he looked set to cash in on that success in a big way over the next year or so. With the way relief pitchers have been getting paid (Tommy Hunter just signed an $18 Million contract), Britton, even at 80% or so of his 2016 peak, would have been in line to make some $50 million or so somewhere in the league.
If that six month figure is correct, he could start throwing again at the end of June. That won’t be nearly enough time for him to get back and establish any kind of value before the trade deadline.
But hey…maybe he could be a jolt of life for the contending Orioles at midseason?!
Ha. I’m sorry.
A terrible offseason just got a whole lot worse.