The World Series doesn't have to end before Dan Duquette starts in on his collection of probably-insignificant offseason moves. On Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles plucked right-handed pitcher Vance Worley off waivers from the Pirates. Since the 40-man roster is full until the free agents are free, that means someone must be sent packing. In this particular case, Jorge Rondon has been designated for assignment.
Worley kind of fits the profile of a Duquette acquisition in that he's a guy who has had a couple of successful seasons under his belt at the big league level but has also had his share of struggles. It is not an especially inspiring fact that in Worley's lone American League action to date, he was blasted for a 7.21 ERA in ten starts with the Twins.
The 28-year-old Worley has now pitched in parts of six big league seasons. Most recently, he began this season as Pittsburgh's fifth starter. After seven starts, he was sitting on a 4.38 ERA and the Pirates kicked him to the bullpen. The Orioles release announcing the waiver claim highlight's Worley's success as a reliever this season, keeping opponents to a .236 batting average in the 15 games where he pitched in relief. Worley had a 2.83 ERA in that time.
Often, though not always, the release highlighting that kind of stat gives an idea of how the Orioles see Worley as having value. That may prove to be the case, although if it is, I would find it surprising, mostly because Worley accumulated big league service time in such a fashion that he qualified as a Super Two player, meaning that he'll be in line for more than the big league minimum this season.
The 2016 season will be the second of those four years of arbitration for Worley. He already made $2.45 million in the 2015 season. That isn't projected to increase much; the MLBTR projection for next season has him at $2.7 million. That's not a huge price tag by any means, but it's more money than the team should need to spend on a bullpen guy.
It could also be that they see Worley as a competitor for a back of the rotation spot next season. It still seems like a hefty bet to place on a guy whose career WHIP is 1.392. Maybe the Orioles won't even keep him around for long enough that there's any worry about what he'll be paid. They make their share of moves that amount to absolutely nothing at all. This could be a return to the O's of cashing in out of the bargain bin, or it could be the first of next year's failed multi-million dollar scrap heap situations.
Rondon made himself useful to the organization by pitching to a 2.33 ERA in 30 games for the Tides. However, after being called up to the big leagues, he had a 7.42 ERA in the eight games in which he pitched. He'll be 28 in February. They gave him a shot, it didn't really work out, and now they're moving on.