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Orioles sign reliever Ryan O’Rourke


ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Orioles have signed lefty reliever Ryan O'Rourke. It’s not yet known if it’s a major or minor league deal, but it is presumably a minor league deal.

O’Rourke, 29, missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early May. If his rehab continues to progress as expected, he may be able to make a midseason debut.

Over parts of two seasons in the majors, O’Rourke has a career 4.98 ERA with a 48/25 K/BB ratio in 47 innings.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.