Zack Britton pitches in minors in return from Tommy John surgery

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEARWATER, Fla. — New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton returned to the mound after an 11-month absence, facing two batters for the Class A Tampa Tarpons in his first appearance since Tommy John surgery.

The 34-year-old left-hander started the game against the Clearwater Threshers. He retired Cade Fergus on a grounder to the pitcher and threw a called third strike past Matt Alifano.

An All-Star with Baltimore in 2015 and 2016, Britton hopes to return to the Yankees for the stretch run.

He made his last big league appearance on Aug. 19 last year at Minnesota. Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache operated on Sept. 8 to reconstruct the UCL in his left elbow and remove a bone chip.

Britton was 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 22 games last season before the injury. He has 154 saves in 11 major league seasons with Baltimore (2011-18) and the Yankees (2018-21).

Britton has a $14 million salary this season and can become a free agent after the World Series.

Kyle Gibson, Orioles finalize $10M, 1-year contract

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a $10 million, one-year contract on Monday.

The 35-year-old would receive a $150,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team. He also can earn a $25,000 bonus if he is elected or selected for the All-Star team. Gibson was an All-Star in 2021.

Gibson was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts for Philadelphia last season. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances in the postseason for the NL champions.

Baltimore gained another experienced arm as it looks to build on its surprising season. After losing 110 games the previous year, the Orioles contended for an AL wild card for much of the summer before finishing 83-79 for the franchise’s first winning record since 2016.

Gibson was an AL All-Star in 2021, going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts for Texas. He was traded to Philadelphia that July, and he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 appearances for the Phillies down the stretch.

The 6-foot-6 Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2013.

He spent his first first seven seasons with Minnesota, going 67-68 with a 4.52 ERA in 193 games, including 188 starts. He had his best year in 2018, finishing with a career-low 3.62 ERA in a career-best 196 2/3 innings.

Gibson, who signed a $28 million, three-year contract with Texas in December 2019, is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA in 267 major league games.