What's next for Britton? Orioles' options with injured closer are limited
- Author: Jill Young Dec 22, 2017,
Dec 22, 2017, 0:57
Duquette indicated that the Orioles wouldn't offer a top-tier pitcher a contract of four or five years, which is want right-handers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, two pitchers the team reportedly coveted, are seeking.
Britton can become a free agent after next season, which made him a strong trade candidate before the injury. Now, they face the prospect of releasing Britton, or hoping that he can perform well after his return from injury.
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Arbitration eligible, it was highly likely that Britton was set to receive a raise from the $11.4 million he earned last season.
If so, the Orioles may still be able to trade Britton at the deadline in late July, assuming that they are not in any kind of playoff race at that point in the season.
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"It was after throwing, I was just doing my regular running", Britton said Wednesday. However, Britton's injury now prevents him from being traded, and it also means that Brad Brach will have to, in all likelihood, assume the closer role in Baltimore. He walked 17 hitters unintentionally in his 37 1/3 innings, which was more than he unintentionally walked (15) in 67 innings in 2016. "I've been there so long and I have so many good memories".
Britton's injury will require surgery on Thursday in California to be performed by Dr. Ken Jung. Britton's estimated recovery time is six months.
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Drafted by the Orioles in the third round with the 85th overall pick of the 2006 June Amateur Draft, Britton would wait five years before finally making his Major League Baseball debut. With rumors already swirling about a potential Manny Machado trade, which could start an all-out rebuild for the organization, this puts the Orioles in a very hard position.