Orioles Pitcher Zach Britton has a Ruptured Achilles


The Baltimore Orioles suffered a major blow on Wednesday when they learned that Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles sprinting during an offseason workout.

He is expected to miss at least six months, The Athletic is reporting.

The left-handed reliever finished 2017 with a 2.89 ERA after a MVP-caliber 2016 season that featured a 0.54 ERA and 47 saves.

Most immediately, the replacement at closer for the Orioles to start the season comes to mind and it'll likely be something like past year with righty Brad Brach as the top option and side-winding righty Darren O'Day as a fallback candidate. His struggles previous year, coupled with his forearm woes, meant that Baltimore should have been looking to move on. First, the Orioles will be without their dominating closer for most of next season.

Britton, 29, will undergo surgery on Thursday.

We've seen the market for relief pitchers explode in recent years.

A awful offseason just got a whole lot worse. It could also give rookie left-hander Tanner Scott an opportunity, and increases the chances that another left-hander, Nelson Cortes, one of three pitchers taken in the Rule 5 draft, starts the season with the Orioles. I was really frustrated because I was feeling good with the forearm and the knee. It could filter down to names like Tony Watson and even Brian Duensing as well in a bit of a trickle down.

The next year, in 2016, Brach would be named an All-Star once again.

Britton was expected to be the subject of trade rumors since he will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019 season. With the benefit of hindsight, they may wish they pulled the trigger and let him go. It's entirely possible this injury helps push them more toward a massive rebuild, because.