Orioles reliever Zach Britton

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Yankees Officially Announce 3-Year Deal With Zach Britton

January 11, 2019 - 11:12 am
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By WFAN.com

The Yankees officially announced Friday they have re-signed left-handed relief pitcher Zach Britton to a three-year contract.

The deal includes a team option for 2022, which the Yankees must exercise or decline following the 2020 season. If they decline the option, Britton would become a free agent following the 2021 season.

The three-year contract will pay Britton $39 million, according to earlier reports.

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"Very excited to be back with the @Yankees!" Britton wrote on Twitter on Friday. "Looking forward to big things from this team and organization in 2019 and beyond."

The Yankees acquired Britton from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for three prospects prior to the 2018 trade deadline.

Following the trade, the 31-year-old looked impressive in pinstripes, posting a 2.88 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 25 innings.

Britton finished the season overall with a 3.10 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 34 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.

In seven-plus years with the Orioles, Britton was a two-time All-Star closer who recorded 139 saves -- including an American League-leading 47 in 2016. He'll continue to serve as a set-up man to Aroldis Chapman with the Yankees.

Britton spoke to the media about his willingless to be a set-up man instead of a closer.

"I had been closer and I knew that I could do that at a high level. I felt like it wasn't something I needed to prove myself," Britton said Friday. "I wanted to go back to a team that was going to win year in, year out, and if the opportunity wasn't there for me to close, that was kind of OK. There was only a handful of teams I was willing to do that (for)."

Britton underwent achilles surgery after the 2017 season and spoke about his recovery last year.

"I wanted to get stronger again, get further away from surgery, put together a good year or two and then have the option to explore free agency again," Britton said. "It was a grind last year. I just at times I felt like my lower body was detached from my upper body ... I never felt like myself at ever really any point last year. There was that disconnect between my brain and my right Achilles for a long time, my right foot. It kind of felt foreign after the surgery."