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Orioles select left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland in Rule 5 draft

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Orioles select left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland in Rule 5 draft

 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Wednesday night, Dan Duquette promised that the Orioles would be active in the Rule 5 Draft. He followed through on Thursday morning.

The Orioles selected left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland from the Cleveland Indians. The 23-year-old was a fourth-round selection in 2007 and was 16-8 with a 4.07 ERA with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in 2007.

“He has a knack for winning games,” Duquette said. “He’s made steady progress in each year of his development.”

McFarland has a 48-31 record with a 3.83 ERA in five seasons with Cleveland’s organization.

“It’s very rare to find a young pitcher with that type of winning record,” Duquette said.

Duquette said McFarland has a good sinker and change-up and is adept at keeping the ball down.

“We had targeted a couple of left-handed pitchers in the draft. We wanted to get another left-handed pitcher into our system,” Duquette said.

“This kid has the experience and the stuff and the track record to be a major league pitcher.”

McFarland, who was purchased for $50,000, must stay with the Orioles the entire season or be offered back to the Indians. Last year, the Orioles selected Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft, and he stayed with the team through the playoffs. With Nate McLouth's signing and adding McFarland, the Orioles' 40-man roster is full.

No Orioles were selected by other teams in the major league portion of the Rule 5.

The Orioles picked up right-handed pitcher Tom Boleska from the Minnesota Twins in the Triple-A draft. Boleska was a 35th round pick by Pittsburgh, who reached Double-A. Last year, Boleska was 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA for an independent league team in Fargo-Moorhead. 

Just before picking Boleska, the Orioles lost 28-year-old outfielder Robbie Widlansky to the Los Angeles Angels. Widlansky batted .316 with eight home runs and 83 RBIs for Bowie last season.

 

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Yasiel Puig to the Orioles? Baltimore reportedly made an offer to the outfielder

Yasiel Puig to the Orioles? Baltimore reportedly made an offer to the outfielder

The Baltimore Orioles have shown interest in free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig and have even made at least one contract offer, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported.

Puig remains on the market after no team made a deal with the veteran during the offseason. The seven-year pro most recently played for the Cleveland Indians during the second half of the 2019 season after being traded by the Cincinnati Reds. In total, Puig hit .267 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI during the 2019 campaign.

RELATED: O'S ADD RUTSCHMAN TO PLAYER POOL

The outfielder burst onto the scene during his rookie season in 2013. Hitting .319 in 104 games with the Dodgers, he finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Besides his skill at the plate, Puig made waves for his big arm and an even bigger personality. The energy has remained season to season, but Puig has been unable to capture great statistical success since his 2014 All-Star season.

Still, Puig can provide any team with a consistent bat and serviceable defense. However, the Orioles are an interesting match considering their current rebuild status. With only 60 games to play in 2020, Baltimore may be better off letting young players get as many reps as possible.

But, if Puig can be brought in on a team-friendly deal, there isn't much harm in taking a chance on the 29-year-old. Maybe for Baltimore, Puig will be their friend.

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Orioles add former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman to 60-man player pool

Orioles add former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman to 60-man player pool

Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, was among six players the Orioles added to their 60-man player pool for the 2020 season, manager Brandon Hyde announced Friday.

Keegan Akin, Michael Baumann, Isaac Mattson, Cedric Mullins, Taylor Davis and Rutschman joined the team’s main camp in Baltimore on Friday and will be relegated to the Orioles’ alternative site once it opens. DL Hall, one of the team’s top pitching prospects, is expected to join the secondary group as well.

Rutschman, 22, was named a consensus top-five overall prospect in the minor leagues by MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus last winter before spring training began. It was the first time a No. 1 overall pick was already a unanimous top-five prospect in his first year of eligibility since Bryce Harper in 2011.

RELATED: ONE YEAR LATER, ADLEY RUTSCHMAN STILL WARRANTED THE PRE-DRAFT HYPE

Though he only played 37 games across three levels of the minor leagues last season, Rutschman finished the year at Single-A Delmarva with a .254 batting average and .774 OPS across 154 plate appearances. He was invited to the major-league club’s spring training camp, during which he went 1-for-9 with a walk but provided plenty of fireworks during batting practice.

Following Friday’s moves, the Orioles’ player poll now sits at 53 players.

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