O's acquire Verrett; could be end of Vance Worley's time in Baltimore - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

O’s acquire Verrett; could be end of Vance Worley’s time in Baltimore

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Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles announced this afternoon that they sent cash considerations to the New York Mets to acquire 26-year-old right-hander Logan Verrett, a former Orioles’ Rule 5 pick.

It’s one of those low-cost, low-risk moves that executive vice president Dan Duquette has utilized throughout his Baltimore tenure. Many don’t pan out, but some do, and that’s allowed the Orioles to build depth for their Triple-A and major-league rosters.

This move also looks to be a way for the Orioles to save a few million dollars as they head toward a club-record payroll in 2017 – potentially at the expense of a 2016 Oriole.

Verrett was 4-10 with a 4.65 ERA in 53 games (16 starts) with the Texas Rangers and Mets over the last two seasons. He spent the spring of 2015 with the Orioles and pitched well, but the club ultimately chose instead to keep another Rule 5 pick, high-ceiling right-hander Jason Garcia, who posted a 4.73 ERA in 24 starts at Double-A Bowie in 2016.

Verrett was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in March, 2015. Ultimately, he was returned to New York that season. In 2016, he was 3-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 35 games (12 starts) for the Mets, who selected him in the third round of the 2011 draft out of Baylor University.

“Good, solid, dependable kid,” Duquette said in a statement about Verrett. “Every staff needs a pitcher who can pitch multiple roles like Logan Verrett. Glad to have him back with the O’s.”

The Orioles already had a pitcher that was competent in multiple roles: right-handed swingman Vance Worley, who was 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 35 games (four starts) last season.

The argument can be made that Worley was one of the club’s most valuable pitchers in 2016, logging 86 2/3 innings, while starting two games in April and two in July. Eight times Worley was asked to pitch at least three innings out of the bullpen.

Like most swingmen, Worley preferred starting. But he accepted his role, and usually gave the Orioles quality bridge innings.

The problem is that Worley is arbitration-eligible and likely will receive a raise that would push him above $3 million for next season. The Orioles have until Friday to decide whether to offer Worley arbitration or cut him loose.

It’s a tough call, because Worley did his job effectively. But $3-million-plus is an awful lot for a swingman – a position often held by younger pitchers.

Now, with the acquisition of Verrett, the upcoming Worley decision likely becomes easier. The Orioles aren’t showing their hand, but it would be somewhat of a surprise if the club didn’t cut ties with Worley to save money.

Verrett then would compete for the swingman job with Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright, among others. Verrett has a minor-league option remaining and made about the minimum last year ($514,875). Plus, he’s under team control through 2021. Worley would be eligible for free agency after 2018.

Financially, it makes sense.

But I’m always of the belief that you can’t have enough big-league pitching. And Worley is a big-league pitcher – no doubt about it. If it were my money – and it’s not – I’d keep him.

And maybe the Orioles will offer Worley arbitration by Friday. But with the Verrett news, it appears that “The Vanimal” will be looking for another job soon.

The good news for Worley — a good guy — is that he should be able to find another job fairly easily.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bancells Moustache

    November 30, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    SAVE THE VANIMAL!!!

    As an unashamed superfan of baseball’s sweatiest dude (seriously, he’d toss a few in the bullpen and would look like he’d just taken the ice bucket challenge) I must implore Duquette to keep 48 on the roster. Hell, if they had taken my advice last time and put Worley on the WC roster instead of Ubaldo, who knows where we’d be right now…

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    December 1, 2016 at 7:51 am

    I double-dog agree with The ‘Stache!

    The job that man did for the team last year, and they are worried about 3 stinkin’ million dollars? Is Austin Powers running this team now?

    I know that it’s not our money as our hero Mr. Connolly points out (or is it?), but 3 million seems like a drop in the 2017 bucket considering they can give 23+ to a modern day version of Dave Kingman!

    I guess it only goes to show just how small market our Charm City has become.

    I can only hope you’re simply whistlin’ in the wind with this speculation Mr. Connolly.

    Geeeze Louise … 3 lousy million.

  3. Dante

    December 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Would love to see Worley stay. Lord knows he would get a truckload of innings due to Orioles starters’ early exits.

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