The Orioles have reached agreement with Colorado Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona and are awaiting the results of his physical before announcing the signing, which is believed to be a one-year deal.
Escalona, 27, went 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 37 games this season, with 52 hits, 14 walks and 34 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Escalona, a native of Venezuela, has spent his entire career in the Rockies organization, going 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 78 relief appearances over parts of four seasons.
The Rockies designated Escalona for assignment on Aug. 23.
Escalona has faced the Orioles twice, allowing two runs and two hits in 2 1/3 innings. Both appearances came at Camden Yards.
The addition of Escalona would leave the Orioles with 33 players on their 40-man roster, which must be set later today leading up to the Dec. 12 Rule 5 draft.
Escalona, who’s listed at 6 foot 4, 235 pounds, has made headlines in the past for a few transgressions.
Back in early April, Escalona was involved in a scuffle with Colorado pitcher Juan Nicasio during stretching exercises at Coors Field, and they needed to be separated by teammates. The Rockies were conducting a workout in front of fans.
Escalona was suspended in 2011 for fighting with his manager in the Venezuela Winter League, and again in 2012 for doctoring a baseball with a foreign substance during a game with Triple-A Colorado Springs.
According to reports, Escalona was caught rubbing his fingers on a foreign substance on his left forearm.
OK, so the guy’s a bit of a character. Could be fun to cover.
Update: Here’s more on Escalona from MLBTradeRumors:
The 27-year-old Escalona pitched to a 5.67 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 39.9 percent ground-ball rate in 46 innings for the Rockies in 2013. The Venezuelan hurler hasn’t had much big league success but has averaged 94.2 mph on his heater over the past two seasons.