Did Zack Britton just confirm he’s staying in New York with the Yankees? He did, right?
UPDATE: Yes, Zack Britton did!
The Yankees have picked up the option that keeps Britton in New York for the next two seasons.
OK, perhaps it’s not that cryptic — but hey, nothing’s factual until we see Zack Britton’s signature on a still-valid contract with the New York Yankees!
In recent days, the rumor mill has run wild with its thoughts on Britton’s next contract. Once thought to be an inevitable opt-in (after all, why wouldn’t Britton want to stick it out as the player rep with the Yanks?!), it became known following the team’s playoff exit that this was actually a two-way street.
If the Yankees chose not to pick up Britton’s option for 2022 and tether themselves to $27 million over a two-year span, Britton could choose to opt in for 2021 alone at $13 million or depart and test free agency. With DJ LeMahieu also up for grabs in this free agency cycle, certain New York reporters peddled the idea that the team could retain one, but not both.
And when the Indians declined their $10 million option on Brad Hand earlier on Thursday, a lot of folks believed the Yankees would be cutting Britton loose, too (or, at least, leaving him to his own devices). So that’s why it was such a shock when Britton fired off a single familiar emoji just before dinner.
New York, New York, baby!
We’re not sure what it means, of course, but it heavily implies that, one day ahead of the deadline for the team to make its decision, Britton will be pitching in New York in 2021.
Did the Yankees pick up his two-year option? Or did they decline it, and Britton opted in for 2021, preferring security to a snoozing market? We’ll find out on Friday.
Britton’s a big emoji tweeter; the other day, he sent off a simple reaction to Blake Snell being pulled ahead of schedule in Game 6 of the World Series.
Emoji reactions are nothing new for the lefty ground ball machine, so seeing as this isn’t out of character, we can safely assume he’s communicating a very status quo message to Yankees Universe.
If he wanted to indicate he was a true New Yorker, though, he could’ve gone with a different emoji.
We’ll say it for sure when we’re certain of the details, but (crossing all of our fingers and toes) welcome back, Britt. Let’s get you a ring.