Orioles Sign 2-Time All-Star Hurler to Bolster Starting Rotation Depth

julio teheran

Getty The Orioles are dealing with some rotation injuries and need some depth. They're bringing in Julio Teheran to help out.

The Baltimore Orioles made a huge splash this offseason by trading for starting pitcher Corbin Burnes. With spring training underway and Opening Day right around the corner, they’re now working on building rotation depth by signing Julio Teheran to a minor-league deal.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman was the first to report an agreement between both sides on February 27. “Julio Teheran to Orioles. Minors deal with MLB camp invite. $2M in majors, with $100K signing bonus and opt out,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).

Teheran, who is a two-time All-Star, spent his 2023 season with the Milwaukee Brewers. It was his first time pitching in the big leagues since tossing five innings for the Detroit Tigers in 2021. Across 71.2 innings for the Brew Crew, Teheran posted a 3-5 record with a 4.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 50 strikeouts.

Teheran Will Try to Recreate His Early 2023 Magic

The veteran hurler made 14 total appearances in 2023. His first 11 came in the rotation, with the final three coming out of the bullpen. Teheran’s start with the Brewers was quite eye-opening.

In his first six starts (35.1 innings), he twirled a 1.53 ERA with 23 strikeouts. He didn’t allow more than two runs in any of those starts. His final five turns through the rotation weren’t as fruitful, which led to him finishing the season as a reliever. Across those 27.1 innings, Teheran struggled to an 8.89 ERA with 21 strikeouts. He allowed fewer than four runs in a start just once during this time.

Even with the late-season struggles, this was a great comeback for Teheran. He established himself as a durable ace for the Atlanta Braves throughout the first nine years of his MLB career. The righty spent 2020 with the Los Angeles Angels and posted a 10.05 ERA in 31.1 innings. Following that singular appearance with the Tigers in 2021, he then found himself playing baseball in the Independent League, the Mexican League and the Dominican Winter League.

Orioles Dealing With Rotation Injuries Ahead of 2024

According to FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, the Orioles’ Opening Day rotation currently includes Burnes, Grayson Rodriguez, Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and Cole Irvin. Two important hurlers who aren’t included are Kyle Bradish and John Means.

Bradish was diagnosed with a UCL sprain at the start of camp. He was given a platelet-rich-plasma injection to help with the healing as he’ll try to pitch through the injury. The righty had a breakout 2023 season for a 101-win Orioles squad. He went 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 168 strikeouts in 168.2 innings pitched. This performance led to him finishing fourth in the 2023 American League Cy Young Award voting.

Means will also join Bradish on the Injured List to start 2024 but for a different reason. The southpaw missed last October’s American League Division Series with an elbow injury. This pushed back his offseason throwing program, so he’s arrived at camp about a month behind schedule.

Based on the parameters of Teheran’s deal, it seems like the Orioles are hoping he’ll break camp with them in the big leagues. Details of his opt-out clause aren’t known. For veterans in the hurler’s situation, though, it could either be right before Opening Day or by May 1.

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