Zach Britton ruptures his Achilles tendon, out at least six months

Roch Kubatko

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Zach Britton is reportedly expected to miss the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball season, as he ruptured his Achilles on Tuesday while working out.

His exact timetable will be mapped out after he undergoes surgery, but he's looking at at least four to six months before he can return, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

He was particularly superb in 2016, finishing 2-1 with a 0.54 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 67 innings, converting all 47 of his save attempts. With Britton's injury, the bullpen takes another hit, with the former All Star closer likely to miss at least a portion of the first half. His struggles past year, coupled with his forearm woes, meant that Baltimore should have been looking to move on. 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. If Britton came out this season and put together a year that lined up with 2014-16, he was going to get a huge payday. I was really frustrated because I was feeling good with the forearm and the knee.

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The 29-year-old has been subject to trade rumors as he enters the final two years on his deal with O's. Furthermore, he'll have a lot of work to do if he wants to earn top-dollar on the free agent market. He was a 2016 All-Star and could even be a candidate for a trade himself. In his rookie season, Britton was used as a starter by the Orioles.

Britton's injury is an easier one for the Orioles to deal with than Machado's situation. Any sort of setback could push his return into July or August, with the worst case scenario being that he does not make it back at all for the 2018 season.

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