After months of conjecture, the Orioles have re-signed right handed pitcher Chris Tillman to a one-year, big-league deal worth $3 million with incentives that could reach up to $10 million, according to a source.
Tillman, who turns 30 in April, has never pitched a major league game for any other team besides the Orioles in his nine seasons in the majors. For a chunk of that time, he was the club’s best starter, but he had an injury-riddled disaster of a season in 2017 – going 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 games (19 starts). He didn’t begin his season until May due to a right shoulder injury.
A free agent at season’s end, Tillman, like most major league free agents this offseason, had to endure a waiting game before finally re-signing a one-year, make-good pact with the Orioles. Tillman, who lives in Sarasota, had been working out at the Orioles’ organization’s facilities in Florida while awaiting a 2018 deal.
In his career — which started with the Seattle Mariners before he was dealt as a minor leaguer in 2008 as part of the Erik Bedard trade — Tillman is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in 203 major league games (198 starts).
He worked out for the Detroit Tigers on Saturday and was choosing among offers from the Tigers and Orioles and one other team.
He now joins a rotation that includes holdovers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as well as newly signed Andrew Cashner – all right-handers. The Orioles have one rotation spot open, and that presumably will be a battle among right-handers Mike Wright, Miguel Castro and Gabriel Ynoa and lefty Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes.
The Orioles also announced on Monday that they have signed left-handed hitting outfielder Alex Presley to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Presley, 32, hit .314 with a .354 on-base percentage in 71 games with the Tigers last year. He is a career.263 hitter with a career .306 on-base percentage in eight seasons with five different big league teams.
The Orioles have been looking for a left-handed-hitting right fielder that can also play every outfield position.
FanRag Sports first reported Tillman had re-signed.