Baltimore Orioles sign Ryan O’Rourke

The Baltimore Orioles yesterday signed former Minnesota pitcher Ryan O’Rourke to a minor league deal. This is hardly a move that will make big waves on the free agent trackers, however O’Rourke is a southpaw. And the Orioles were looking to bolster their bullpen in that regard.

O’Rourke didn’t appear at the big league level this past season, which for him was plagued with injuries. He underwent surgery on his elbow back in May, which kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season. So in a sense he’s a reconstructive project for the Orioles. However at 29, he’s also in theory in the prime of his career – if you can say that at this point.

However O’Rourke has only appeared in 54 games at the big league level with Minnesota, over two seasons. In that time he has a 4.98 ERA. But on the flip side, he’s held hitters to a .198 average. So one would think he has a decent upside.

In the past I would have said that this was a “depth move,” and in fact it does have those markings. However as we all know, guys the Orioles sign to a minor league contract are just as likely to end up in the big leagues as anyone else. It’ll be interesting to see if O’Rourke gets an extended look in spring training. One way or the other, don’t be surprised to see a decent amount of him at Camden Yards in 2018.

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