Orioles add 2 right-handers in minor league Rule 5 draft; Sign catcher Jacob Nottingham - BaltimoreBaseball.com


Orioles add 2 right-handers in minor league Rule 5 draft; Sign catcher Jacob Nottingham

Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles selected two right-handed pitcher in the Triple-A Rule 5 draft on Wednesday — Nolan Hoffman, from the Seattle Mariners, and Cole Uvila, from the Texas Rangers.

No Orioles were among the 51 minor league players selected.

The Rule 5 minor league draft is typically a little noticed event that takes place after the major league Rule 5 to conclude the Winter Meetings, but because of the Major League Baseball lockout, it gained prominence this year.

Hoffman is a 24-year-old who was Seattle’s fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft. He was 1-2 with six saves and a 3.53 ERA in 37 games with Low-A Modesto and High-A Everett in 2021. Hoffman struck out 55 and walked 14 in 41 innings and allowed only two home runs.

“We’re excited to welcome Nolan to our organization,” Orioles director of pro scouting Mike Snyder said. “After his 2019 season was cut short due to Tommy John surgery, we were encouraged with the progress he made in 2021. He has a history of limiting walks and is a groundball artist with a knack for inducing weak contact, really an outlier in this respect across the league. He presents a very difficult look, especially for right-handed hitters, and is a competitor who shows some personality on the mound.

“When Nolan transferred to Texas A&M from Hutchinson Community College in 2018, he struggled that fall, which led to him dropping down to a sidearm slot. He then went out and dominated SEC baseball his junior spring, ending up pitching very meaningful innings as the closer and earning every bit of his fifth-round selection. That rise in his draft stock, and that overhaul of mechanics, speaks to his adaptability and resilience, and we’re excited to get to know him better in our organization. Pitchers come in all shapes and sizes, and we feel he adds an intriguing dimension to our minor league system.”

Uvila, 27, was a 40th-round pick by the Rangers in 2018 and was 2-2 with eight saves and a 5.37 ERA in 39 games for Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this past season.

“We’ve been attracted to Cole Uvila for three or four years now, envisioning him as a multi-pitch reliever,” Snyder said. “He’s a late bloomer, the rare 24-year-old draftee who had bounced around a number of amateur programs and had overcome elbow surgery before really taking off in his pro debut in 2018. He shows a real feel for pitch design, overhauling his repertoire in a number of ways the last several years. He has a penchant for generating movement on all his secondaries and he’s knowledgeable about what he wants to achieve on the mound. We’re hopeful that we can help him harness the bat-missing ability to help achieve sustainable success. We know he has the ability, we know he puts the work in, and we know we have the right infrastructure in our player development group to support him.”

The Orioles paid $24,500 for each selection and can assign them to whichever minor league affiliate they choose.


Catcher signed: The Orioles signed catcher Jacob Nottingham to a minor league contract. Nottingham was Houston’s sixth-round pick in 2013. In the last four seasons, he played 53 games for Milwaukee and Seattle, hitting .184 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.

Eleven of the 14 runners who have tried to steal against him have been successful.

Nottingham is the first catcher the Orioles have signed this offseason. There aren’t any catchers on the 40-man roster.

According to the transactions page of MLB.com, the Orioles also have signed free-agent right-hander Jarlin Guerrero to a minor league contract.

Injury note: Minor league right-hander Conner Loeprich had surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday.

Loeprich was 2-5 with a 5.63 ERA in 14 games with High-A Aberdeen and the Orioles Orange team of the Florida Complex League. He was 2-1 with an 8.38 ERA in six games for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.

He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Kriske to Japan: Right-hander Brooks Kriske, who pitched in four games this past season and was granted his release last week by the Orioles, has signed with the Yokahom DeNA BayStars of the Japanese Central League.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions in the next few days. Please leave them in the comments or email them to: [email protected]

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. jimcarter

    December 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    If you have a tie to Houston, that’s your “in” with the Orioles. Duquette had his fixation with former number 1 picks and Elias has his quirk.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      December 8, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      I’m not a big fan of Mikey’s (yet), and I can’t think of many instances where’s it has worked out great, but I think there’s something to be said for trying to reboot a high-pedigree player’s career,especially if there’s next to no investment involved.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 9, 2021 at 6:46 pm

        “… where’s it has worked out …” What kind of English is this???

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          December 9, 2021 at 10:31 pm

          It’s bad Englsh.

    • CalsPals

      December 8, 2021 at 5:07 pm

      Nottingham, a new Sheriff in town?….go O’s…

      • Buzz1979

        December 8, 2021 at 9:03 pm

        Strikes out MORE than Davis!

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          December 8, 2021 at 9:21 pm

          But who struck out more looking?

      • willmiranda

        December 9, 2021 at 10:41 am

        Are you suggesting, CP, that ME is the new Robin Hood, stealing from the rich clubs and giving
        to us poor Orioles fans?

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 9, 2021 at 8:09 pm

        and here’s another bile filled crybaby.

    • Buzz1979

      December 8, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Even Scott Moore and Lou Montanez…LOL!

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 9, 2021 at 8:11 pm

        And here’s another bile filled crybaby!

    • Icterus fan

      December 8, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      It’s a shambles, all right…..

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 9, 2021 at 6:38 pm

        So filled with bile…

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          December 10, 2021 at 3:18 pm

          What do you get when you cross shambles with bile?


          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            December 11, 2021 at 2:50 pm


    • CalsPals

      December 9, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      Makes sense doesn’t it Will…lol…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      December 9, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      Yes, you are full of….bile…go O’s…

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      December 9, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      And here comes another bile filled crybaby! Thinks he knows everything and can’t be wrong! Thinks he’s judge of knowing everything concerning the Orioles but know nothing!

    • CalsPals

      December 9, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      Where did you learn to speak English, knows nothing…hysterical, but hey, the Lakers are looking great…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 10, 2021 at 11:48 am

        Southern New Hampshire University drop out.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          December 11, 2021 at 2:47 pm

          As the buzzer goes off… (Insert buzzer noise here) Your wrong again!!! And yes, you’re still a moron!!! Lol

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 15, 2021 at 2:53 pm

        And furthermore, I didn’t “speak” anything. Where did you learn how to write? Glass house, man – glass house!!!

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      December 9, 2021 at 9:11 pm

      But hey, the Lakers can’t win it every year! They have been in the NBA for 61 years – been to the NBA Finals 32 times or better then 50% of the time and won it all 17 times or better then 27 % of the time, and tied for the most EVER Championships!!! VERY GOOD percentage I would say!!!

      • Rich Dubroff

        December 9, 2021 at 9:26 pm

        Dario, your previous comment has been removed due to the disgusting language.

    • Icterus fan

      December 9, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      Yessir, some folks in these here parts gots dem a real light trigger pull. Mmhmmm.

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      December 9, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      Here’s Mr. Bile himself! Always bringing nothing to the table!!! And speaking his best English!!!

    • OriolesNumber1Fan

      December 9, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      I could have sworn I added an s is for the “blank” that you are!!! Edited for purposes of this site!!! Well the Lakers can’t win the NBA Title every year but in 61 years in the NBA – they went to the Finals 32 times or better then 50% – and won the NBA Title 17 times, tied for most in the NBA or better then 27% of the time!!! Pretty good percentage!!!

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 9, 2021 at 10:39 pm

        “thEn” 27% ?……. Dang spellcheck must have struck again.

    • CalsPals

      December 11, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      I guess some on here are allowed to call people names & talk about gross stuff, some, not so much…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 15, 2021 at 8:41 am

        I guess some people are allowed to talk trash about the Lakers, the Orioles and their players, Mike Elias, front office and the ownership group and always critiquing other commenters!!! Look in the mirror – hypocrite!!!
        You sure know how to dish it out but you sure can’t take it!!!

  2. Bman

    December 8, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Any idea who the Os may pick in the major league level Rule 5 when it happens? Top candidates?

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 8, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      I will tackle this one in the mailbag.

  3. dlgruber1

    December 8, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Huh, don’t the rest of MLB teams read the papers or more likely nowadays online pieces. How is it that not a single player was taken from “the #1 rated minor league system” in all MLB? I mean, if you’re “the #1 minor league system” in all MLB certainly there must be at least one player that one of the other teams would take a flyer on.

    • ClayDal

      December 9, 2021 at 2:06 am

      Most of the Orioles top 30 prospects have been drafted or signed internationally since 2019 ( Rutschman, Henderson, Cowser, etc). They don’t have enough service time to be eligible in the draft. Grayson Rodriguez was drafted in 2018 out of high school so he doesn’t need to be protected until next year. Many of the other prospects ( DL Hall, Bradish, Kevin Smith, and Vavra) were added to the 40 man roster so they couldn’t be taken. The players who were taken today from the Orioles and the other teams aren’t generally considered top 100 prospects. Unlike the major league Rule 5 draft which was delayed, these players don’t have to stay in the majors. Most of the 51 players taken are just organization filler

      • willmiranda

        December 9, 2021 at 10:49 am

        I was concluding the same thing, CD. The two guys we selected both have had arm surgery, one Tommy John and the other unspecified. I suspect that’s one reason they were available, and the O’s don’t shy away from injured arms. Why they’re better than the filler we already have, I don’t know; but there’s not much risk here. It must be tough on the players, though, not knowing where they will end up.

    • dlgruber1

      December 9, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      ClayDal, I was being facetious. I’m just so sick and tired of hearing about the O’s having the #1 rated farm system while watching the worst team in MLB for the past 4 seasons. I know, I know, they’re soon gonna be in Baltimore and things will be looking up. But will they really? As Buck always said, the most difficult jump in any professional sport for an athlete to make is from minor league to major league baseball. Anyone who thinks that as soon as AR, GR, Hall and add whomever you like to the list is suddenly gonna put the O’s in the WS is foolish. The number of even highly rated prospects who become good, not even great, players is very low. So excuse me if I’m not waiting breathlessly for 2023 or whenever. I’m an older fan who was raised on the ‘70’s O’s teams and I don’t know, maybe I’m just sorta stubborn, but I’d rather have a top rated MLB team than minor league system. Please don’t take this as a direct shot at you, that’s not the intention. I appreciate your comments.

    • ClayDal

      December 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      I was raised on the 70’s Orioles also. Where did their star players mostly come from. Brooks Robinson, Dave Johnson, Bobby Grich, Boog Powell , Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Paul Blair, Mark Belanger, Mike Flanagan among others came up through the Orioles system. So did Milt Pappas who they used to trade for Frank Robinson. And Curt Blefry who they used to get Mike Cuellar. Building through the farm system is the best way to build and sustain a winning franchise. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen overnight

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 9, 2021 at 6:55 pm

        Your right and very well stated CD. Interesting read found here for others: www “dot” masnsports “dot” com “forward slash” steve-melewski “forward slash” 2021 “forward slash” 12 “forward slash” orioles-goal-turn-highly-rated-farm-into-major-league-wins “dot” html (no spaces)

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          December 9, 2021 at 10:42 pm

          Dang #1 … there’s that “Your” mistake … again. I thought we fixed that one. with you. You’d been doing so well with it..

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 9, 2021 at 10:53 pm

        No it doesn’t Clay. It does take time. One note though. The majority of those players you just mentioned were with the team BEFORE there was even a draft in baseball. The players that WERE drafted, certainly weren’t taken with high draft picks had by tanking seasons. Those old teams didn’t throw games in order to get them into the system. They built that farm system honestly, the old fashioned way. They earned it through hard work.

        That’s the problem with this team. In a sense they’re cheating. It’s dishonest. Tanking may not be technically against the rules, but I imagine that in short order, the league will take steps to stop such low brow tactics, and tanking WILL be against the rules. It’s a matter of scruples and pride.

        We should be ashamed of our GM who has intentionally allowed other teams to run roughshod over this once proud franchise. Would you have ever imagned the O’s would be the laughingstockof the league? Edward Bennett Williams, Hank Bauer and Earl Weaver would never had stood for it.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          December 10, 2021 at 10:40 am

          Yeah. Lol… I’ll do better. Anyway, what’s this??? – “Would you have ever imagned the O’s” – just saying… A great song by John Lennon misspelled.

    • dlgruber1

      December 9, 2021 at 10:44 pm

      Os#1Fan, I did as you requested, and by the way, thank you for referring it to us, even if it was a bitch for me to find as I’m techno inept, and it was a very interesting read. Unfortunately for me tho, the sentence that has stuck with me was this one:

      “One thing working against them is they are in the AL East and all those teams are set up well for the future,” MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis said this week. “You need luck with pitching, but I could see the Orioles being over .500 in 2023 if things break right.

      Getting over .500 by 2023 is not much to look forward to. That was followed up by the list of teams who were rated #1 and won or went to WS. But I’m still very skeptical. My skepticism is based on current O’s ownership and if they’ll be willing to spend the necessary dollars to keep any future stars. Time will tell on that one. Again, thanks for the suggestion.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        December 10, 2021 at 11:11 am

        Maybe some re-alignment of divisions will be done. Or maybe with the expanded playoff format, all teams from the AL BEAST will make the playoffs. Who knows, but the future is looking pretty bright and remember the old saying – Good things come to those who’ll wait. And anyways its a BIG step in the right direction. And by then, just like with this same ownership in name, and learning from their dad, and just like before, they will spend $$$$ to improve the roster. I’m thinking a signing of a true ace would do the trick here by then.
        One more thing here, A group of Baltimore Orioles are collectively known as a “pitch”. That’s kind of ironic, since that is something the Orioles have not lived up to recently, but I’m hoping the next several drafts and International signings will help here!!!

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