Baltimore Orioles: Avoid arbitration with Britton and Brach
Despite his injured Achilles tendon, the Baltimore Orioles top closer has agreed to a $12 million deal.
This prevents the Baltimore Orioles from having to go to arbitration with Zach Britton.
This is Britton’s last season before free agency. He will be a part of the free agency season that includes players like Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, and Clayton Kershaw.
In 2017, the Orioles paid Britton $11.4 million. He only pitched 37.1 innings and saved 15 games. This is way down from the 47 games he saved in 2016. That season the Orioles paid him $6.75 million.
The Orioles drafted Britton in 2006 and he is one of the few remaining home-grown players. And, like Manny Machado, there is a chance that he could wear a different uniform. But, his injury could change that. Britton’s plethora of injuries could deter other teams from going after him in free agency.
Despite the fact that Britton will not pitch for at least half of the 2018 season, the $12 million salary was fair. The $600,000 increase was more of an homage to his 2016 season and what the Orioles are hoping to get out of him. Since his injury was incurred while he was working out, the Orioles could not penalize him for it.
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While Britton is on the mend, it looks as if Brad Brach will be his substitute. Brach was also in arbitration talks and he will make $5.165 million for his efforts in 2018. Brach closed while Britton was on the DL in 2017. The right-handed pitcher finished 2017 with a 3.18 ERA. He pitched 68 innings and saved 18 games, finishing 36 of them.
This will be Brach’s fifth season with the Orioles. He was acquired by the team in 2013 after he was traded to the O’s by the San Diego Padres in exchange for Devin Jones, whose final season was 2015. The Orioles clearly won that trade, especially considering that Brach was an All-Star in 2016.
Next: No agreement with two important players
Sadly for the Orioles, Brach will also be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. While he has been the picture of consistency in relief pitching for the Orioles, he could become a household name if he can deliver in 2018.