After losing out on David Robertson to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, the New York Yankees have brought back left-handed reliever Zach Britton on a three-year contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Britton, 31, was acquired by New York from the Baltimore Orioles last July, and posted a 2.88 ERA and 7.6 K/9 over 25 relief appearances and exactly 25 innings pitched while manning the back-end of the Yankees bullpen.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Britton’s three-year contract will be worth approximately $40 million, meaning the southpaw will earn about $13 million per season.
Britton’s contract also includes a $14 million team option for a potential fourth year that would need to be activated after the second year, meaning he could earn more than $50 million over the life of his new deal. The Texas native could also opt out if the Yankees fail to pick up that option following the 2020 season.
From the perspective of the Red Sox, this acquisition marks the second time in the past week that intriguing free agent bullpen options have been taken off the board by teams intending to contend in 2019.
It is unclear how hard the club pushed for the services of the oft-injured Britton, but I would like to imagine this increases their chances of retaining Craig Kimbrel at the moment.
Former Colorado Rockie Adam Ottavino remains an option on the relief market as well, but Rosenthal did previously reported Saturday that it’s, “not out of the question [the Yankees] will sign [Britton and Ottavino],” so we’ll have to wait and see if anything picks up on that front.