After months of rumors connecting the Yankees to every top reliever on the market, the Yankees finally agreed to bring back Zach Britton. The terms of the contract are a bit complicated, as he’s guaranteed three years and $39 million. After the second year, however, the Bombers will be able to decide whether they want to pick up the fourth year of his contract. If they decide not to, Britton can opt out after that second year.
Britton, 31, is coming off of an injury-shortened year. He ruptured his Achilles in December 2017, and did not make his season debut until mid-June. The southpaw had a couple of bad outings right out of the gate, but the good news is that he pitched better and better the further he got away from the injury. He posted a 153 ERA+ through 25 innings with the Yankees down the stretch.
At his best, Britton could be any team’s closer. He gives Aaron Boone a lot of flexibility, and provides great depth to a bullpen that already has Chad Green, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman. On the other hand, he is a groundball pitcher and that isn’t the best news for an infield that struggled defensively in 2018 and will be without Didi Gregorius to start the season.
It remains to be seen if the bullpen is now set for 2019. Adam Ottavino is still available, and it’s entirely possible that they land him, too, and attain super-bullpen status once again. We’ll have to wait and see where the next two months take the Yankees.
Are you happy with their decision to bring back Zach Britton? Would you have preferred David Robertson? Vote in the poll below and let us know in the comments.
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Should have been D-Rob
Should have been Ottavino