The Orioles have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com first reported (links to Connolly on Twitter). The 37-year-old Wasserman Media Group client will head to the extended Spring Training at the Orioles’ facility in Sarasota, Fla., according to Connolly. The O’s announced the deal minutes later.
Rodriguez was in Spring Training with the Astros this season but didn’t make the club. He had an offer to pitch for Houston’s Triple-A affiliate but elected to once again enter the open market, where he’s now found a new home with the O’s. Rodriguez spent half the season with the Rangers in 2015, pitching quite well from April through June after winning the fifth spot in Texas’ injury-depleted rotation. Rodriguez turned in a 3.20 ERA with a 50-to-23 K/BB ratio through his first 11 starts as a Ranger before melting down and yielding 24 runs over his next 21 2/3 innings. That dismal stretch led to a DFA and a subsequent release.
Rodriguez will presumably provide Baltimore with some rotation depth at the Triple-A level once he gets up to speed in extended Spring Training. Yovani Gallardo has already landed on the DL with a shoulder problem, and Kevin Gausman spent the early portion of the season on the disabled list as well. It’s also worth noting that Baltimore’s rotation depth took a hit when the club released Miguel Gonzalez late in March. In addition to the injured Gallardo and the aforementioned Gausman, the O’s have Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mike Wright in their rotation, as well as right-handers Tyler Wilson and Vance Worley in the bullpen, each of whom has starting experience. The O’s also have Odrisamer Despaigne and David Hale at the Triple-A level, so Rodriguez is a ways down the depth chart for the time being. In parts of 11 big league seasons, Rodriguez has a career 4.10 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 1557 1/3 innings.