The Orioles announced the signing of three right-handers — Eduard Bazardo, Kyle Dowdy and Wandisson Charles — to minor league contracts this evening. All three are relievers who’ll add to Baltimore’s bullpen depth without requiring a spot on the 40-man roster.
Bazardo has spent his entire career in the AL East. A former international signee of the Red Sox, he played parts of seven seasons in the Boston system. The Venezuela native has primarily pitched at Triple-A Worcester over the last two years, tallying 68 2/3 innings of 4.33 ERA ball. Bazardo has fanned an average 23.1% of opposing hitters at that level against a solid 7.7% walk rate, securing fairly brief looks in the majors in each of the past two seasons.
The 27-year-old tallied 19 1/3 MLB innings over 14 appearances, allowing five runs. That’s a strong mark but wasn’t supported by a fairly modest 14:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Boston ran Bazardo through outright waivers in each of the last two years and he elected minor league free agency after going unclaimed in October. He averaged 94 MPH on his fastball and generated a decent number of whiffs on his low-80’s breaking ball in his limited big league look.
Dowdy pitched 22 1/3 innings as a Rule 5 draftee for the Rangers back in 2019, walking more batters than he struck out while posting a 7.25 ERA. Returned to the Cleveland system midseason, he spent the next couple years in the minor leagues. Dowdy returned to the bigs for a very brief stint with the Reds this September, making two appearances. He worked 6 1/3 scoreless innings for Cincinnati, albeit with just three strikeouts and walks apiece. Cincinnati non-tendered him at the end of the year to reallocate his spot on the 40-man roster to prospects they didn’t want to lose in the Rule 5 draft.
A University of Houston product, Dowdy turns 30 in February. He spent most of this year with the Reds highest affiliate in Louisville, pitching to a 3.96 ERA across 52 1/3 frames. Dowdy punched out 24% of opponents but issued walks at a significant 13.3% clip. Strike-throwing has been a consistent issue throughout his career, as he’s walked 12.7% of batters faced over four Triple-A seasons. He averaged a bit north of 96 MPH on his heater during his limited MLB look with Cincinnati.
Charles, 26, has yet to reach the majors. He secured a spot on the A’s 40-man roster over the 2020-21 offseason, which he held until this August. Oakland designated him for assignment and ran him through waivers amidst a grisly 2022 showing at Double-A Midland, and he reached free agency at season’s end. The native of the Dominican Republic posted an 11.43 ERA over 37 innings for the RockHounds, walking an untenable 18.8% of opponents with a 16.8% strikeout rate. The Orioles will hope a change of scenery can get him back on track. Prior to this year, Charles had garnered modest praise from prospect evaluators for a fastball that reaches the upper-90s.
Below average post.
This is also a low-effort post.
Eduard Bazardo has a bunch of talent, this is a very good signing by the Orioles!
Agreed… didn’t understand why Sox had no interest in keeping him around. Realize they needed the 40-man spot for others but seeing as he’s taking minor league deal here… seems they could have offered the same. He really hasn’t ever struggled at any level he’s been at (including majors)… only blemish in minor league career is 2021 while returning from surgery.
I saw Bazardo pitch at Fenway this year, he was super good. I am sad to see him leave the Red Sox, I hope he can be great for the O’s!
He would have cost to much for bloom
Jeff – Bazardo, I believe was out of options, he was an up/down pitcher who could not be sent down. The depth chart is full of starter/swing/relievers with higher ceiling. The Red Sox just signed three veteran relievers, so those pretty much explain the reasons (add: Ward and Politi Rule 5 losses would have received 40-man roster spots over Bazardo).
I’d rock a Bazardo jersey.
11.43 in AA? Ouch
As a sox fan… Bazardo never had a 11.43 in AA lol… he’s pretty much dominated every step along the way in the minors until TJ surgery in 2020/2021 — struggled a bit coming back in 2021 then began righting ship in 2022 and even pitched well in Majors.
I wasn’t referring to Mr. B.
It was the other guy, that’s why I started a new paragraph.
Then you need a space between the sentences. It really just looked like a new sentence because I thought the same.
Good stuff though. 🙂
Better yet, name the player with the 11.43 ERA. WIth just one player named, the reader is led to believe that is the only player being discussed. You can’t blame the reader when the writing is poor.
But it clearly states who threw the 11 something era in AA in the article. My bad for assuming that was understood. I’ll mention names in the future.
I keep wondering when they are going to sign a catcher to backup Adley.
Sandy Leon is waiting for his phone to ring.
C Yards Jeff
Me too. Get a catcher who has top 15 to 20 D metrics at MLB level with possible offensive upside to back up Adley. Carson Kelly looks on the outs in Arizona. Trade partner? 4 mil per, 2 yrs with a 3rd mutual op? Steep for a back up but he can play corner infield and DH some to justify it? All said; wish he was a LH stick.
Kelly would be great. Most Catcher bat right, so we can’t be too picky.
Anthony, thank you for this detailed write up and profile on these guys. I really appreciate all the facts and numbers and history on each guy. Very nice, great job. Thank you.