The Orioles announced Thursday that they’ve signed right-handed reliever Reed Garrett to a minor league contract. He’ll likely vie for a roster spot in big league camp this spring.
Garrett, 30, was with the Nationals organization in 2022, pitching 9 1/3 innings at the big league level and another 47 1/3 frames of Triple-A ball. He yielded an unsightly seven runs on 13 hits and eight walks during that brief Major League cup of coffee, but Garrett was quite good with the Nats’ Triple-A club, notching a 3.04 ERA with a 27% strikeout rate, 9.2% walk rate and 47.4% ground-ball rate.
Back in 2018, Garrett was the fifth pick in the Rule 5 Draft, going from the Rangers organization to the Tigers, where he’d make his MLB debut the following season. He tossed 15 1/3 frames with Detroit but struggled with his command and the long ball in that time, yielding 14 runs before being designated for assignment and returned to Texas.
Those brief looks in 2019 and 2022 are Garrett’s only big league experience to date, and they’ve resulted in a combined 7.66 ERA with more walks (21) than strikeouts (16) over the life of 24 2/3 innings. Obviously, those results don’t generate much cause for optimism, but Garrett has had success both in Triple-A (3.87 ERA in parts of three seasons) and during a two-year run with the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (3.46 ERA in 106 2/3 frames). Between that success and Garrett’s intriguing fastball (96 mph average with above-average spin), the O’s saw enough to give the righty a chance to pitch his way into their bullpen plans during the upcoming 2023 season.