The Orioles agreed to terms with injured closer Zach Britton that will avoid arbitration and pay him $12 million for his final season before free agency, according to an industry source.
Britton, who is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered during an offseason workout last month, isn’t expected to return until June at the earliest.
He will receive a slight raise coming off last year’s injury-plagued season, netting a $600,000 salary increase from his 2017 salary. As a Super Two qualifier, Britton was the beneficiary of four arbitration-eligible seasons, and received a $4.65 million raise following a star-studded 2016 season that saw him convert all 47 save attempts.
Before suffering his injury, Britton was projected to make $12.2 million by MLBTradeRumors.com. His injury also came after the Orioles tendered him a contract in early December, but according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are obligated to retain players who have been injured in the course of baseball activity. Britton was injured while running sprints during an offseason workout at the Boras Sports Performance Institute in Newport Beach, Calif.
Britton, who had surgery on Dec. 21, was placed in a walking boot and is now starting to walk again. He will continue to start putting weight on his foot and can soon begin to start strengthen it.