The Yankees retained one of their best relievers, reaching an agreement Saturday night on a contract with the left-hander Zach Britton. The deal guarantees Britton three years and $39 million.
The agreement was confirmed by a person with direct knowledge of the deal who was not authorized to comment publicly until Britton passes a physical examination. The Yankees will have an option, after the 2020 season, to extend the deal to four years and $53 million. If they do not, Britton could then exercise an out clause.
Britton, 31, had a 2.88 earned run average in 25 games with the Yankees last season after coming to New York in late July in a trade from the Baltimore Orioles. He ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in an off-season workout in December 2017 but proved he was healthy last summer, retaining the power sinker that hitters struggle to elevate.
Britton, who had 120 saves from 2014 through 2016, has allowed just 12 home runs in 283 games over the last five seasons.
His return follows the departure on Thursday of David Robertson, the veteran setup man who left for a two-year, $23 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Even so, with Britton, Dellin Betances and closer Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees have three relievers who have made multiple All-Star teams, supporting a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, C.C. Sabathia and Sonny Gray, whom the team is trying to trade.