The Orioles have signed veteran reliever Jon Rauch to a minor league contract, reports Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. He is scheduled to report to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday.
Rauch, 34, was released by the Marlins last month after he posted a 7.56 ERA and 15/7 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings. However, given his lengthy track record of success, he was a good bet to land somewhere quickly. The 6-foot-11 right-hander had a 3.75 ERA from 2010-2012 between the Diamondbacks, Twins, Blue Jays, and Mets.
Orioles’ relievers were fifth in the majors last season with a 3.00 ERA, but they have a 3.79 ERA through 55 games this year. Rauch provides some quality bullpen depth in Triple-A and figures to get a chance with the big club before long.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.