Orioles sign former first-round pick Brett Wallace


MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have reached agreement on a minor league contract with first baseman Brett Wallace, who was given his release by the Astros earlier this month.

Wallace, a first-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, was the centerpiece of the July ’09 trade that sent Matt Holliday from Oakland to St. Louis. But he’s now 27 years old with a weak .242/.313/.391 batting line in 311 big league games.

Wallace will likely open 2014 at Triple-A Norfolk.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.