The Orioles have re-signed right-hander Spenser Watkins to a new minor league deal, MASNsports.com’s Melanie Newman reports (Twitter link). The contract contains an invitation to Baltimore’s spring camp.
Watkins elected free agency four days ago, shortly after the Orioles outrighted him off their 40-man roster. The 2021 season saw Watkins made his MLB debut, and the righty posted an 8.07 ERA over 54 2/3 innings for the O’s. Watkins started 10 of his 16 appearances, and pitched well over his first three starts before batters started adjusting in a big way. Watkins allowed 14 homers over his 54 2/3 frames, and had only a 13.7% strikeout rate.
Never a big strikeout pitcher even in the minors, Watkins has an 3.86 ERA over 625 1/3 innings of minor league work, mostly in the Tigers’ farm system before Detroit released him in 2020. Baltimore signed Watkins to a minors deal last offseason and he performed well enough at Triple-A Norfolk to finally get the call to the Show. The 29-year-old Watkins will likely continue to serve as rotation depth in the minors, though he’ll get a chance to compete for a roster spot at Spring Training.