Feeling the roster crunch of having too many pitchers for few available roster spots, the Orioles saw Rule 5 selection Logan Verrett claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
The 24-year-old right-hander pitched well this spring, posting a 1.93 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings of work. He was one of two Rule 5 pitchers in major league camp this spring, joining right-hander Jason Garcia.
Previously with the New York Mets organization, Verrett was the more polished of the two Rule 5 pitchers, but Garcia is considered to have more upside and could still be an option in the bullpen. In 2014, Verrett went 11-5 with a 4.33 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas.
There had been some discussion that the Orioles might attempt to work out a trade with the Mets to keep Verrett in the organization while allowing them to option him to the minors, but he needed to pass through waivers in order for that to happen and the Rangers have been desperate for pitching help all spring.
With a crowded bullpen that will feature Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Brad Brach, and Wesley Wright, the Orioles are still figuring out what to do with lefty specialist Brian Matusz and right-hander Ryan Webb — both are out of options — in addition to trying to make room for Garcia. It’s possible that right-handed starter Kevin Gausman could also start the season pitching in relief, further crowding the bullpen.