MLB Rumors: Orioles' Zach Britton Ruptures Achilles Amid Trade Talk

MLB Rumors: Orioles' Zach Britton Ruptures Achilles Amid Trade Talk

Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton is expected to miss at least four to six months after rupturing his Achilles on Tuesday, according to multiple media reports.

Not to mention, he recorded 47 saves with a jaw-dropping 0.54 ERA and was named the best American League reliver, earning the Mariano Rivera AL Reliver of the Year Award. And so much for what was likely to be one of the team's top trade chips in July, should the first couple months go the way many of us fear they will. If the Orioles did have the depth to withstand a significant injury, it was in their deep, late-inning bullpen arsenal. Either way, this may have already destroyed the Orioles season before it even begins.

Britton, 29, was the most dominant reliever in baseball in 2016.

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We've seen the market for relief pitchers explode in recent years. 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. He won't have been able to answer the questions about his forearm woes over the course of a full season, which are sometimes the harbinger of a UCL tear and Tommy John surgery.

Britton, like teammate Manny Machado, is due to become a free agent after the 2019 season, and has been floated around in trade rumors throughout the offseason. If a team was looking to trade for a closer, he's the man now. Now, it appears he could miss almost half the 2018 regular season.

After Machado, many would figure Britton to be Baltimore's biggest trade piece. It's entirely possible this injury helps push them more toward a massive rebuild, because.

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