Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, that the team has invited right-hander Gavin Floyd in for a tryout at their mini-camp. Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com adds (also via Twitter) that Baltimore is considering a Spring Training invite for the Maryland native and Moye Sports Associates client, should the audition go well. The O’s have long been interested in the local product, having been connected to him in multiple offseasons prior to this one. As MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko notes in writing about Showalter’s comments, the O’s made a two-year offer to Floyd prior to the 2014 season.
Floyd, who turns 33 later this month, spent the 2015 season in the Indians organization. He’s been largely out of action across the past three seasons due to a slew of injuries, beginning with Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2013 season. Floyd returned strong with Atlanta in 2014 and hurled 54 1/3 innings of 2.65 ERA ball, but he fractured the olecranon bone on the tip of his right elbow and was forced to miss the remainder of the season after that promising start. Incredibly, after inking a one-year deal with Cleveland last winter, Floyd suffered the exact same injury in Spring Training — an olecranon fracture — that cost him the bulk of the 2015 campaign.
Floyd did surface with the Indians in the season’s final month, throwing 13 1/3 innings with a 2.70 ERA, seven strikeouts and four walks out of the Cleveland bullpen. Late in the season, Floyd told reporters that he because he enjoyed the city of Cleveland and loved how he was treated by the organization, he’d be interested in re-signing. However, the resurgence of Josh Tomlin and the emergence of young right-hander Cody Anderson left the Indians pretty well stocked with rotation depth.
The Orioles, on the other hand, could very much use some depth pieces for the rotation. Baltimore stands to lose left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, its most consistent starter, to free agency this offseason. That would thin out what was already a very underwhelming group of starters in 2015. The collective unit took a step backwards in large part due to struggles by stalwart Chris Tillman and his fellow right-hander, Miguel Gonzalez. In addition to that duo, the Orioles have the unproven-but-promising Kevin Gausmann as well as newcomer Vance Worley and the inconsistent Ubaldo Jimenez. Right-hander Mike Wright, too, is in the rotation picture, although he posted a 6.04 ERA in 44 2/3 innings last season in his Major League debut.