Despite the Baltimore Orioles not making any deals in the early going, they’re interested in a few relievers on the free agent market.
The Baltimore Orioles are hunting for a veteran catcher and bullpen help this offseason. While the bullpen was the Orioles biggest asset in 2016, it never hurts to add more to the pen.
And the Orioles have expressed interest in a few free-agent relievers to help bolster their pen next season.
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The Orioles have reportedly shown interest in veteran right-handers Kevin Jepsen and Anthony Bass. Both pitchers have gained a market of their own and while no one is sure of the level of the team’s interest, there won’t be much movement until the Winter Meetings next month in Washington D.C..
Bass spent the last season pitching with the Nippon Ham Fighters, going 8-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 37 games. Bass also started 14 games and has expressed interest in relieving or starting. He recently declared his desire to return to the Major Leagues in 2017.
Jepsen is recently coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, going 2-6 with a 5.98 ERA with the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays.
Jepsen started the second-half strong with the Rays, pitching to a 3.38 ERA in his first 20 outings. But he had a terrible September which raised his ERA to 5.68.
The Orioles don’t necessarily need to stock up on bullpen arms, especially after signing Darren O’Day to a four-year contract. However, O’Day made 34 appearances in 2016 and suffered a plethora of injuries.
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Brad Bach and Mychal Givens stepped up in O’Day’s absence, and Bach eventually earned a nod to the All-Star Game. However, Bach’s numbers declined in the second half which may have something to do with his workload. Givens, who is a rookie, underwent growing pains earlier in the season after he struggled pitching to left-handed batters. Givens later overcame his struggles and was declared a late-inning weapon for the Orioles.