The Orioles announced today that right-hander Pedro Araujo was re-acquired after being returned to the Cubs. $750K of international bonus signing availability went to the Chicago organization in the deal, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
Araujo’s Rule 5 status made him a tough fit on the Baltimore roster. As a 2017 selection who missed some action due to injury last year, he only needed to be held on the active roster for a few weeks for his rights to permanently go to the O’s. But he’d still have required a 40-man roster spot even if he was optioned down.
By working things out this way, the Orioles will keep Araujo without having to tie up a 40-man spot. They’ll cough up some international pool availability, but the organization has already been utilizing its excess bonus cash in other trades. The long-term plan is likely to begin putting that asset to work directly through prospect signings, but the O’s first need to establish an international infrastructure that was not pursued under the prior front office regime.
The 25-year-old Araujo obviously has impressed the Baltimore brass to some extent, given that they wanted to keep him in the organization. But it was plain that he wasn’t really ready for the majors. Last year, he was torched for 7.71 earned runs per nine over 28 frames, coughing up nine home runs along the way. But he also generated a healthy 13.9% swinging-strike rate at the MLB level.