Zach Britton Reportedly Agrees to 3-Year Contract to Return to Yankees

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09:  Zach Britton #53 of the New York Yankees pitches in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Yankees and relief pitcher Zach Britton will be reunited after the two sides agreed to a deal Saturday. 

ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported the two sides reached an agreement. Passan also reported the deal "will be in the range of $13 million a season":

Per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, Britton's deal will be for three guaranteed years with an opt out for Britton and a fourth-year option for the Yankees. 

Britton spent the first seven-plus years of his MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles before the New York Yankees acquired him in a July trade to bolster their bullpen.

The 31-year-old California native finished the 2018 season with a 3.10 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings across 41 appearances split between the two AL East teams. He struggled in the playoffs for the Yanks, however, giving up three earned runs in five innings (5.40 ERA).

Britton, who spent the previous four years as the O's primary closer, said in October his individual role is "maybe not as important as I originally thought" after spending time with the 115-loss Orioles and the 100-win Yankees this past season.

"I just want to win," he told reporters. "Being in Baltimore this year was tough. Experiencing losing and then going onto a team that's going to win, I think, for a lot of years, this would be obviously one of those destinations that I would want to be at, with the young core."

For his career, Britton owns a 3.21 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a strikeout rate of 7.4 per nine innings. He's also recorded 142 saves, including 120 in a three-year stretch starting in 2014, which featured a 47-save campaign for the O's in 2016.

The left-hander is a two-time All-Star Game selection and was named the AL Reliever of the Year for 2016.

Britton showed his comments about wanting to win were more than lip service by re-signing with the Yankees despite what will likely be a limited number of save opportunities.

He'll slot in as the team's top lefty setup man for New York with Aroldis Chapman operating as the closer and Dellin Betances serving as the late-inning righty.

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