Zack Britton explains why he is no longer Zach Britton

Zach Britton
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Last week Yankees reliever, Mr. Z. Britton, tweeted that he would, going forward, be known as “Zack” Britton and not “Zach” Britton as he has been known to the public for his entire professional career.  I thought about posting something at the time then figured, eh, it’s pretty minor. I’ll just mention something about it the first time he’s in the news for something this spring. But this story is too fun not to share.

I and a lot of people had a chuckle out of Britton’s tweet, wondering if he was just changing it on a whim, but it turns out it was the correction of a long-running mistake that was perpetuated, it seems, by a small error, inertia and, it would seem, Britton not being too hung up about how one’s name is spelled.

The upshot: he’s always, legally, been “Zackary,” which is “Zack,” and all of his legal documents have always said “Zackary,” but his parents called him “Zach” and told him the proper way to shorten it was “Zach,” so in non-legal settings — on the Orioles’ rosters, on baseball cards and places like that — it’s always been “Zach.”  His wife, who is an attorney, told him that it should probably be uniform everywhere so as to avoid potential confusion. So he and the Yankees agreed that he should now, properly, be listed as “Zack” everyplace.

As a “Craig” who gets called “Greg” an awful lot — and as the father of a son named “Carlo” who is invariably called “Carlos” by others — I can’t imagine being so blasé about it all, but I suppose Britton is just a way more chill dude.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.