The Baltimore Orioles have added veteran southpaw Wesley Wright to their bullpen, signing the 29-year-old to a one-year deal worth an undisclosed amount, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The agreement is currently pending a physical.
Originally drafted by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2003 draft, Wright was non-tendered by the Cubs earlier this month, despite a very strong 2014 season that saw him post a 3.17 ERA, 3.44 FIP, and 0.8 WAR in just over 48 innings pitched. A seven-year veteran of the Astros, Rays, and Cubs, Wright has been a very servicable reliever over the past four seasons. In that span, he has a 3.25 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 123 ERA+, 8.5 K/9, and 3.2 BB/9 in 166.1 innings pitched.
Wright has been notoriously better against same side hitters in his career, with left-handers owning just a .238/.315/.331 line against him, while righties have slugged a much better .264/.354/.479. Last season, he limited lefties to a .594 OPS, with right-handers hitting for a .719 mark.
Wright will likely slot in as a middle relief option for the O's, joining Zach Britton and Brian Matusz as left-handers in the club's bullpen, with fellow southpaw T.J. McFarland (who had a 2.76 ERA for the Orioles last season), languishing in Triple-A. Overall, the Orioles have built themselves a strong bullpen heading into next season, assuming its makeup is maintained. The club is currently slated to run out a relief crop of Britton, Matusz, Wright, Brad Bach, Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, and Ubaldo Jimenez.
Of course, this move could be in anticipation of a trade that would ship Matusz out of Baltimore. Matusz has reportedly been made available by the Orioles this winter, with a swap with the Pirates for outfielder Travis Snider discussed at last week's Winter Meetings. Having made $1.425 million last season, Wright would also appear to save the Orioles some money if they did decide to trade Matusz.