The Orioles have acquired right-hander Brad Brach from the Padres in exchange for minor league righty Devin Jones, the teams have announced.
The 27-year-old Brach was somewhat surprisingly designated for assignment last week. Brach pitched to a 3.19 ERA in 31 innings for the Padres in 2013, striking out 31 batters in the process. Though he has swing-and-miss stuff, Brach's control has typically been problematic, and that was on display in 2013, as he walked 19 batters in those 31 frames. Still, Brach owns a career 3.70 ERA and 10.1 K/9 rate (117 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings), so if he can improve upon his career 5.1 BB/9 rate, there's hope that he can be an effective big league reliever.
Orioles executive vice president feels that Brach gives the team another option in the sixth or seveth inning and praised his fastball and forkball (MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko reporting on Twitter). Kubatko also notes that Brach has a minor league option remaining.
Jones, 23, struggled through 123 1/3 innings at Double-A Bowie in 2013, pitching to a 5.84 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9. A former ninth-round pick by the Orioles, Jones entered the season ranked 18th among Orioles prospects, according to Baseball America. BA noted that the O's are hopeful that after working with Jones to add a changeup, he can develop into a No. 3 or 4 starter, but his stuff probably plays better in the bullpen. In a relief role, Jones' fastball touches 96 mph and works well with an 82-84 mph slider that he struggles to command but is an above-average pitch at times.