For an off day, it’s been an interesting one for the Orioles. Not only was it Buck Showalter’s 60th birthday, but they traded left-hander Brian Matusz to the Atlanta Braves along with the 76th pick in the draft for two minor leaguers.
The Braves, who are looking to stockpile draft picks, quickly designated him for assignment.
In essence, Atlanta gave the Orioles two minor leaguers and took on what was remaining of Matusz’s $3.9 million salary for a pick in the Competitive Balance B round.
No announcement on who will take Matusz’s roster spot has been made, but the team will apparently purchase the contract of left-hander Ashur Tolliver from Bowie.
Tolliver was a fifth round draft choice in 2009 and has never pitched above Double-A, but the 28-year-old intrigued the team. While the Orioles didn’t protect him, they thought enough of Tolliver to invite him to January’s minicamp and spring training.
In 18 games for the Baysox, Tolliver is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA.
Tolliver would give the Orioles another left-hander in the bullpen, and they could freely option him to the minors.
The Orioles also signed veteran left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing to a minor league contract.
The 33-year-old is 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA in seven seasons with Minnesota. He had been pitching with Triple-A Omaha, but opted out of his contract earlier this month. He hasn’t pitched since May 13.
Later on Monday night, the Orioles acquired right-hander Franderlyn Romero from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two International Signing Bonus Slots.
Romero is 23, but has never pitched above Class A ball. He’s the third minor league pitcher acquired in the last few hours. Right-hander Brandon Barker and left-hander Trevor Belicek, picked up from the Braves for Matusz, will be added to an organization badly in need of additional pitching prospects.
“With today’s moves, we have added to the pitching depth of the our organization,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
“The pitchers we have acquired today are very competitive and have very good instincts. They have excellent control, keep the ball in the ballpark, and consistently keep the ball over the plate. Not only have we stocked the pitching in our farm system, but we also added three potential major leaguers.
“We’d all like to thank Brian Matusz for his contributions to our team, both on the field and in the community.”