Just 24 hours after being unceremoniously released by the NL East favorite Washington Nationals, veteran relief pitcher Luis Ayala reportedly has a new home in the American League.
Luis Ayala has a deal with the #orioles adds to pen depth
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 20, 2014
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Ayala has a deal in place with the Baltimore Orioles, and this makes a ton of sense for both parties. The 36-year-old right hander has never been dominant throughout a lengthy Major League career (as evidenced by his career strikeout rate of 5.96 per 9 innings), but over the recent past, he has been extremely effective in various stops.
Ayala’s ERA has gone from 2.09 (2011 with the Yankees) to 2.64 (2012 with these same Orioles) to 3.27 (between two teams in 2013), and while the peripherals almost never indicate that it is sustainable, it’s tough to ignore a 3-year sample. Baltimore does have a solid bullpen on paper, but you can never have enough quality pitching depth (even in the bullpen), and there is no possibility to where he wouldn’t present some sort of value, even on a heavily incentive-based contract that would land him in triple-A for portions of the year. Stay tuned as details are released, but it’s tough to knock this deal for either side.