With at least 10 spots open on the 40-man roster, the Orioles are either expecting to fill it through saving prospects or signing free agents this offseason.
To kick off the O’s offseason acquisitions, the Birds looked within the division to help fill one of the biggest holes on the roster, the bullpen.
Bryan Baker was claimed off waivers by the Orioles from the division rival Toronto Blue Jays. The 26-year-old right hander made his debut with the Jays this past season.
Spending a majority of the season in Triple-A, Baker had 11 saves and pitched to a 1.31 ERA last season. He went 6-1 across 39 games, 41.1 innings pitched, with a 48 to 17 strikeout to walk comparison.
Baker, who was drafted by Colorado in 2016 in the 11th round, only pitched in one big league game, his MLB debut, this season, where he finished an inning with one strikeout.
Baker has had a respectable minors career, as he holds a 24-16 career minors record across 174 games and 249 innings pitched. He has started 13 games during his career, while converting 25 of 32 save opportunities and tallying 19 holds.
For his career, Baker currently holds a greater than two to one strikeout to walk ratio and has held opponents to a .225 batting average against, the last two seasons holding hitters to a .182 average or lower.
A chance to claim a young arm for the bullpen, who has closing experience, is a good step towards reshaping a glaring weakness the Orioles had last season. The big right-hander should be given a chance to make the team out of spring training, and we look forward to seeing what Baker can bring to the table to help guide along in the rebuild.
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