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Orioles select Big Ten Pitcher of the Year with first-round pick

Orioles select Big Ten Pitcher of the Year with first-round pick

The Orioles wanted to go after pitching in the initial rounds of Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft, and with their first three picks, they selected college pitches.

Right-hander Cody Sedlock from the University of Illinois was their pick with the 27th pick of the first round.

Sedlock, who was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, was the only pitcher in the country to throw into the 10th inning twice. 

He was 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 14 starts. He had 116 strikeouts and 31 walks in 101 1/3 innings. He gave up four home runs.

The native of Sherrard, Ill. will turn 21 on June 19. 

"Cody is a durable college starting pitcher with a good arm. He has a good fastball, good breaking pitches, good feel for a change, and good control,” Gary Rajsich, Orioles Director of Scouting said. 

“We did target some good arms and we feel very fortunate we were able to get them. We did have some position players that we liked. They were safety valves for us.” 

The junior’s major is plant biotechnology. 

Rajsich saw him play twice, and liked what he saw. The Orioles had several people watch him pitch.

“He has major league weapons that will play up here in the big leagues, and hopefully he’ll move fast and help our ballclub in the very near future,” Rajsich said. 

Sedlock said he wasn’t surprised to be drafted by the Orioles because he knew they had scouted him extensively. He said he patterns himself after a former Oriole, Jake Arrieta. 

“I know it’s a little different from a former Oriole going to the Cubs, but just watching him pitch, we have the same sort of frame. We both like to take care of our bodies well, two-seam fastball, slider, curveball and changeup in our back pocket,” Sedlock said. 

The Orioles are getting an outstanding young man in Cory Sedlock," Illinois coach Dan Hartlieb said. "Cody's work, on and off the field, have made him deserving of a first round pick.. It has been impressive to watch the development on the mound and in the weight room over the past three years; he's a great competitor. I really respect him as a person and for what he did as a person." 

In the second round, the Orioles selected left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin from Western Michgan. They also chose right-handed pitcher Matthias Dietz from John A. Logan Community College in Illinois with their second pick of the second round.

Sedlock and Akin were teammates in the Cape Cod League last summer.

Rajsich predicts that all three will begin their professional careers with Aberdeen. 

Rounds 3-10 are Friday. Rounds 11-40 are on Saturday.



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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."