Aaron Gleeman

Mike Carp

Orioles sign first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp


Journeyman first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp has joined the Orioles on a minor-league contract, according to John Meoli of the Baltimore Sun.

Carp was a very productive part-timer for the Red Sox in 2013, but struggled in 2014 and didn’t play in the majors at all last season. He’s not quite good enough offensively to be a solid option starting at first base and is stretched defensively in an outfield corner, but Carp can be a useful bench player in the right circumstances.

However, with Meoli reporting that Carp’s deal does not include an invitation to spring training the 30-year-old seems destined to wind up beginning the season at Triple-A.

Ryan Raburn signs with the Rockies

Ryan Raburn
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Journeyman infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rockies that includes an invitation to spring training. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Raburn will get $1.5 million if he makes the Opening Day roster and can opt out in late March.

Raburn has made a career out of knocking around left-handed pitching in a part-time role, which he did extremely well for the Indians last season while hitting .301 with eight homers and a .936 OPS in 82 games at age 34.

Those numbers are way beyond his career norms, but Raburn has a lifetime .827 OPS versus lefties compared to a .693 OPS versus righties. If used correctly he can be a very solid contributor and will give the Rockies some corner outfield depth with a good chance to make the team given their lefty-heavy outfield.

Brian Matusz’s back injury puts Opening Day status in doubt

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Brian Matusz throws against the Miami Marlins during the 12th inning during a baseball game in Miami, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Matusz left the game after his forearm was inspected by umpires. The Marlins won 1-0. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
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Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz has been diagnosed with a serratus strain–which is basically a lower back injury–and manager Buck Showalter told reporters that the reliever would be headed to the disabled list if this were the regular season.

Luckily for Matusz the regular season doesn’t begin for a month, although clearly his status for Opening Day is very much in doubt.

After struggling as a starter early in his career Matusz has been a key contributor to the Orioles’ bullpen since making the full-time switch to relief work in 2013, logging 152 innings with a 3.32 ERA and 159/53 K/BB ratio. Eligible for free agency after this season and making $3.9 million, the former No. 4 overall pick had been slated for a middle relief role.