12:21pm: The Athletic’s Dan Connolly tweets that Voth agreed to a $1.85MM salary for the upcoming season, which was the midpoint between the $2MM sum at which he filed and the team’s $1.7MM. The option is valued at $2.45MM but can increase by as much as $500K based on performance incentives for the 2023 season.
11:30am: The Orioles announced Thursday that they’ve agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Austin Voth. The deal, which avoids an arbitration hearing, also contains a club option for the 2024 season.
Claimed off waivers out of the Nationals organization on June 7, Voth immediately turned a corner with the O’s. The former fifth-round pick had long held potential and looked like a breakout candidate in D.C., but despite some brief glimpses of potential he was never able to establish himself as a consistent member of the Nats’ rotation or bullpen. Time will tell whether he’s able to do so in Baltimore, but he’s off to a good start.
In 83 innings following that waiver claim, Voth pitched to a sharp 3.04 ERA with a 20.7% strikeout rate, a strong 7.2% walk rate and a tidy 1.08 HR/9 mark. He’s unlikely to sustain an 82.4% left-on-base rate that’s 10 percentage points higher than league-average — only eight pitchers (min. 80 innings sustained a rate at that level in 2023) — but fielding-independent marks still peg him in the low-4.00 range.
Heading into 2023, the 30-year-old Voth could compete for a rotation spot in Baltimore. He started 17 games for the O’s after being acquired, and the team hasn’t done much to supplement its rotation this winter. The Orioles have effectively replaced Jordan Lyles with Kyle Gibson for the same cost, but there have been no further additions. Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish, Bruce Zimmermann, Mike Baumann, Spenser Watkins and top prospects DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez will all get consideration for innings this season — though the O’s are reportedly still exploring potential moves to bolster the starting staff.
Even if Voth doesn’t win a rotation spot this spring, he’ll be assured a spot in the bullpen. He’s now on a guaranteed salary for the upcoming season, and because he’s out of minor league options, he can’t be sent to the minors without first being exposed to waivers. Given how well he pitched after being claimed last time around, he’d surely be claimed if the O’s tried to pass him through waivers themselves.
The club option on the contract doesn’t extend Baltimore’s control over Voth. He was already controllable via arbitration for three seasons, so the option merely serves as a means of giving the club some possible cost certainty on his next arbitration salary. If the option is declined, he’d still be under team control, but the two sides would then go through the arb process all over again — or else Voth could simply be non-tendered. As things currently stand, he won’t qualify for free agency until after the 2025 campaign.
Baltimore is doing lots of things right. Their young prospects have very high ceilings and the established players, i.e. Mullins, Santander, and Hays should be producing for the near foreseeable future. Really like the O’s.
Although is tanking for years of horrific baseball really the right thing?
Tanking for three whole years.
@RobM In fairness, they were hamstrung by the back half of some highly questionable extensions to Davis and Trumbo from the prior GM regime. No small/mid market team is going to be able to withstand that sort of blow to their “$/WAR” numbers.
They honestly finished as one would expect given those albatross contracts.
Seeing as the Orioles re-structured their entire organization under Elias during their supposed “tanking”, I would characterize their organizational philosophy as absolutely the right thing to do for the long-term health of the Orioles. Tanking is an unfair term for their rebuild when a term like organizational restructuring is more appropriate. I’m a die hard O’s fan who endured several years of bad baseball, but when you peek under the covers at the significant strides the Orioles have made in tapping the international talent pool, building a state of the art facility in the Dominican and supercharging their analytics department, those rebuilding years were essential. This is the most excited I’ve been about the prospect of sustained success for the Orioles since the late nineties.
Fellow orioles fan here, couldn’t agree with what you said more. The organization had to be rebuilt from the ground up and unfortunately that requires some lean times. I don’t think fans outside of Baltimore truly understand how little the team focused on international amateurs.
Hell, the orioles still have never had a Venezuelan player they signed as an amateur make it to play for the club in the majors. (Eduardo Rodriguez the closest I can recall). Throughout the 90s when teams were scouting amateurs in the DR, the orioles were focused on Aruba and guys like Sidney Ponson.
I don’t like tanking and it certainly isn’t great for the fans but idk how else they could have gotten on the current trajectory.
The orioles could’ve added $100MM to their payroll and the team wasn’t going to compete for a playoff spot from 2017-2021.
The system was razor thin and the old core was all gone. At the same time when the other 4 teams in the division were in good shape.
There was only 1 way to make the orioles competitive again and it’s exactly what Elias did.
Very well said there baked. You also have 1 of my top 3 fav user names.
HAHA!! Thanks, dude! I’ve been reading this site for a long time, but hadn’t thought of making an account until that nugget came in to my head the other day. Loved ol’ Bake! I think he was the first person I remember seeing with a badass afro when I was a kid. I had a bunch of his baseball cards from the late 70’s and early 80’s. He was a good player, too. I’m just happy no one else thought of the name before me! LOL.
I thought they would end up like the Tigers but Elias has done a great job.