With the Orioles in a constant pursuit for starting pitching, a deal with the 35-year-old veteran Wade LeBlanc seems to be a valuable signing.
It was announced late Tuesday night that the team had signed the big lefty to a minor league deal, worth around $800,000 if he makes the 26-man roster out of spring training.
Having pitched for seven teams before joining the Orioles organization, LeBlanc brings a much needed veteran presence to the starting rotation. LeBlanc was invited to spring training, where we will see if he earns a roster spot in either the rotation or bullpen.
Coming into the league in 2008 with the San Diego Padres, LeBlanc’s numbers won’t blow you away, but he also won’t turn you away. Holding a 4.46 career ERA in the majors is a good number for a guy who’s bounced around and is still pitching at age 35.
LeBlanc’s best season came in 2018, when he went 9-5 as a member of the Seattle Mariners, where he pitched 162 innings across 32 games and had a 3.72 ERA.
The acquisition of LeBlanc is another low risk, high reward signing by Mike Elias. Even at 35 years old, LeBlanc threw a cumulative 283.1 innings in the previous two seasons in Seattle. This proves he can eat up innings, while still providing positive production from the mound.
Spring training will determine if LeBlanc will wear an Orioles Uniform come Opening Day, although there are few reasons to believe he wouldn’t be a piece of the rotation once the season rolls around.
Welcome to Birdland, Wade!
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