Cortes was taken from the Yankees in the 2017 Rule 5 draft. If he clears waivers, he’ll be offered back to the New York organization for a $50K sum, which the Yankees will all but assuredly pay. Regardless, the O’s have opened an additional 40-man spot for the time being.
The 23-year-old Cortes was one of two Rule 5 picks the O’s made back in December and one of three players with Rule 5 restrictions to crack the Opening Day roster. Baltimore also selected Pedro Araujo out of the Cubs organization, and outfielder Anthony Santander still comes with Rule 5 status for the first 44 days of the 2018 season after spending the bulk of the 2017 season on the disabled list.
Cortes appeared in four games for the Orioles and was tagged for four runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings of relief. Last year with the Yankees, he logged an impressive 2.06 ERA in 104 total innings between Class-A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A, while averaging a strikeout per inning and just 2.8 walks per nine frames.