3:43PM: Tillman has been officially released, the Orioles announced.
1:15PM: Long-time Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman has elected free agency after clearing outright waivers, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports on Twitter. He had been designated for assignment recently.
Tillman seemed all but certain to clear waivers, as he was pitching on a $3MM guarantee. The O’s will remain responsible for all of that cash, though it’s possible they’ll save a bit if he ends up returning to the majors with another organization. (Any team can employ him for only the league-minimum rate.)
It had seemed possible, though, that Tillman would elect to remain in the Baltimore organization at Triple-A — an option the team had expressed interest in. Instead, he’ll try to begin reviving his career elsewhere.
This brings an end to a lengthy relationship. Tillman came to Birdland as part of the notable 2008 trade that sent Erik Bedard to the Mariners — click here for a blast from MLB Trade Rumors past — and provided the O’s with plenty of quality innings. Tillman could have headed elsewhere after an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, but ended up returning on a make-good deal that obviously did not turn out as anyone hoped.
Tillman has struggled mightily across the board this year. He lasted only 26 2/3 innings in seven MLB starts while being tagged for a 10.46 ERA with a 13:17 K/BB ratio. After he went out on a rehab assignment, the results weren’t much different: in six minor-league starts, Tillman threw 26 2/3 frames of 6.75 ERA ball with a 13:12 K/BB ratio.