One thing the Orioles needed was a better long relief/spot starter option than T.J. McFarland, Tyler Wilson, or Mike Wright. They took a stab at addressing that on Sunday evening, picking up lefty Vidal Nuño from the Dodgers in exchange for minor league righty Ryan Moseley.
Needing to make room on the roster, the Orioles designated McFarland for assignment as they completed the trade.
Nuño, 29, spent last season with the Mariners, posting a 3.53 ERA in 58.2 innings pitched. He only started one game last season but has pitched as a starter in the past, starting 28 games in the 2014 season and ten games two years ago.
The Mariners traded Nuño to the Dodgers in November for Carlos Ruiz. The trade to the Orioles is the fourth trade for Nuño since July of 2014. He had also been with the Yankees and Diamondbacks. On one hand, the Orioles have traded for a player in high demand. On a more realistic hand, they’ve traded for a guy nobody really wants.
But it’s not hard to see why the Orioles won’t mind having him. Nuño is entering just his first year of arbitration, having already settled for a $1.125 million salary for the upcoming season. If he’s any good at all, or even something in the ballpark of acceptable, the O’s can keep him around for a couple more seasons.
Moseley, 22, was drafted by the Orioles out of Texas Tech in the eighth round of last year’s draft. In 12 relief outings for short-season Aberdeen, he struck out 18 batters in 19.2 innings with a 3.20 ERA. The chances of the Orioles missing a reliever who’s never pitched in a full-season league are pretty small.
Nuño might help, so that’s something. Not that a guy with a 4.02 ERA and 4.48 FIP in 329.2 big league innings is all that exciting either, but it’s something.
The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina adds that Nuño has a minor league option remaining, making this a comparable and perhaps similarly insignificant pick-up as last February’s trade for Odrisamer Despaigne.