Whatever happens to Zach Britton moving forward from his Achilles surgery, gentle steps on the road to recovery, he’s expected to remain in the organization that drafted him and eventually found the ideal role. Talk of releasing him should be muted, from what I’ve been told. It’s complicated, but Britton would receive his full salary despite no resolution for 2018 after the Orioles tendered him a contract. They remain encouraged by the possibility of his return before the All-Star break. The procedure to repair his Achilles turned out exactly as hoped. Whether it’s in May, June or July, Britton can be an asset to the club through his pitching or appeal as a trade chip. The Orioles don’t seem interested in just handing him over to another team. It doesn’t make sense for a variety of reasons - financially, competitively and based on the loyalty he’s accrued over the years. As one person in the organization pointed out, Britton wasn’t hurt while hanging upside down from gymnastics rings. He didn’t crash his dirt bike. He was engaged in workouts to get ready for his final season under team control, running sprints when the injury struck. Flukish, unfortunate and not his fault. The idea of letting him go was described as “probably not even a remote possibility.” Britton didn’t seem sure of it the day before his surgery. Then again, he’s been wondering for more than a year whether the Orioles would continue to give him raises as a closer after they traded Jim Johnson to avoid being on the hook for a projected $10 million salary.
Could Zach Britton get an extension and become a starter again?
Masn | Dec 24