The Orioles have been grabbing left-handed relievers wherever they can find them throughout the offseason, although they haven't all stuck on the roster for long. On Tuesday night, they added another one: free agent reliever Wesley Wright, who had been non-tendered by the Cubs. MASN's Roch Kubatko reported that the Orioles had reached an agreement to sign Wright to a one-year contract.
Eduardo Encina from The Baltimore Sun adds that the deal is still pending the physical. We know that the O's physical is no mere formality based on last offseason's escapades. Still, even for the O's, it'd be a surprise if the deal falls through.
Over a seven year career that's spanned three major league teams, Wright has accumulated a 4.17 ERA in 299.2 innings pitched. That's not very impressive, but if you limit to the last three seasons, that becomes a 3.38 ERA. Which actually isn't all that impressive in the current baseball run environment either, at least not for a reliever. It's serviceable, though, and comes cheaper than Brian Matusz and without the crushing weight of expectations that were never met.
The 5'11" Wright held lefties to a .273/.321/.273 batting line in the 2014 season. Wait a minute, no extra base hits to left-handed batters at all? Is that even allowed? Apparently it is.
Two things were different for Wright in 2014 compared to his career trends. He struck out far fewer batters but also allowed far fewer home runs. Oh yeah, and in line with his career numbers, he got ground balls more than half the time. That doesn't sound too bad, as long as he's used mostly against lefties.
Wright made $1,425,000 with the Cubs last season. They non-tendered him before he could get a little raise for his final year of arbitration. There wasn't any immediate indication as to how much he'd make with the Orioles, but it's a good guess that he'd probably get in the range of what he got last year.
If Wright has been signed to a major league deal, and it would be a surprise if he hasn't, that means someone is headed to the great DFA in the sky. The presence of Wright might make Matusz into trade bait, but that probably wouldn't take place immediately. In the meantime, if I was Quintin Berry, I'd be updating my resume.