Veteran right-handed reliever Dale Thayer has opted out of his minor league deal with the Orioles, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. Thayer is now a free agent. He allowed three runs and struck out six batters in six spring innings.
Thayer had an uphill battle for a roster spot in a relatively well-defined Orioles bullpen. Top candidates for relief jobs include Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz, Brad Brach, Vance Worley, T.J. McFarland, Odrisamer Despaigne, and out-of-options prospect Dylan Bundy. Those names only represent the most established options, making Thayer a long shot to crack the roster. For example, Zach Phillips was recently signed as an insurance policy to banged up southpaw Matusz.
Thayer struggled to a 4.06 ERA with 5.97 K/9 and 3.58 BB/9 with the Padres in 2015. He was remarkably better in previous seasons including a 2.34 ERA with 8.54 K/9 and 2.20 BB/9 in 2014. Over the course of his career, he’s posted respectable rates – a 3.47 ERA, 7.62 K/9, and 2.36 BB/9 over 251 innings.