Luis Ayala pitched very well for the Orioles last season, throwing 75 innings with a 2.64 ERA, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re trying to trade the 35-year-old reliever.
Connolly speculates that they’re looking for backup catching depth or a minor leaguer in return after bringing Ayala back for 2013 by exercising his $1 million option.
Ayala is behind closer Jim Johnson and setup men Darren O’Day and Pedro Strop on the right-handed reliever depth chart in Baltimore. He also had a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings for the Yankees in 2011 after being pretty terrible from 2008-2010.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.