The Baltimore Orioles will re-sign starting pitcher Chris Tillman to a one-year/$3 million deal, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Chris Tillman is returning to orioles. Deal agreed to.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 19, 2018
SARASOTA — Tillman, 29, can still receive up to $7 million in incentives, according to reports. It was reported that the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins had interest in Tillman. The Tigers watched Tillman throw yesterday. The Twins acquired Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, so their interest waned in Tillman.
He was acquired by the club in a deal with the Seattle Mariners for starting pitcher Erik Bedard. The deal also included fellow All-Star center fielder Adam Jones and former Orioles closer George Sherrill. Tillman is an nine-year veteran of the Orioles, first pitching with the team in 2009 and spending his entire Major League career with the team.
Tillman has seen success since sticking with the club in 2012, making the AL All-Star team in 2013, with a 3.71 ERA and starting in a league-high 34 games in 2014. Though he struggled with injuries in 2015, Tillman would bounce back with a 3.77 ERA in 2016. 2017 saw Tillman battle injuries once again, pitching to a 7.84 ERA.
On a one-year deal, Baltimore will be able to bring back a starter who has had some success in the past. If Tillman can stay healthy and return to some semblance of his 2016 season, he will be a welcome addition to the club.
Baltimore also signed starting pitcher Andrew Cashner last week, after not having any proven starting options outside of Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. It can be assumed that Tillman will be competing for a role at the back end of the rotation, either as the number four or five starter. Miguel Castro, Nestor Cortes, Jose Mesa Jr., Mike Wright and Gabriel Ynoa will all join him in the battle for the final two spots.
Though the Orioles have now signed Cashner and Tillman, one shouldn’t expect them to be done in their search for starting pitching. Baltimore has only committed $11 million this season in signing free agent pitchers. The team still could greatly improve in the rotation and there are other available free agent starters like Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn out there, as well as Collin McHugh being available in a trade, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Baltimore wasn’t done with adding to their rotation.
A possible starting rotation
- Kevin Gausman
- Dylan Bundy
- Andrew Cashner
- or 5. Chris Tillman/Miguel Castro/Nestor Cortes/Jose Mesa Jr./Mike Wright/Gabriel Ynoa
UPDATE: Orioles sign Alex Presley to a minor league deal
Alex Presley is a 32-year old left-handed hitting outfielder and the Baltimore Orioles just signed him to a minor league deal.
Presley batted .314/.354/.416, with three home runs and 20 RBI in 264 plate appearances. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions, which will come at a premium for the Orioles. His bat also adds a pinch-hitter in the outfield against right-handed pitching (Presley batted .321 against right-handed pitching in 215 at-bats in 2017).
In eight seasons in the Majors between five different clubs, Presley has batted .263/.306/.388, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 111 RBI.
(Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America)