The Orioles must have been determined to sign an Australian-born player this winter.
The club announced today that it claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks, 24, off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs actually claimed Hendriks off waivers from the Twins on Dec. 13 after he went 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA in 10 games, including eight starts, over 47 1/3 innings.
Hendriks also made 16 starts for Triple-A Rochester, going 4-8 with a 4.67 ERA in 98 1/3 innings. He allowed 115 hits, walked 15 and struck out 62.
Hendriks is 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 major league games with the Twins, including 28 starts, with 202 hits, 46 walks and 100 strikeouts in 156 innings. He’s 42-28 with a 2.99 ERA in six minor league seasons.
“We were determined to get another starting pitcher this offseason,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Duquette paused and confirmed that the Orioles are still in the market for a starter to place near the top of the rotation. This isn’t the final move. He anticipated the follow-up question.
“He gives us some more depth to the pitching staff, and he can start and relieve,” Duquette said. “He has really good control in the minors and that hasn’t really translated to the big leagues. We think he can be helpful as a spot starter and bullpen man for the big league club.
“He gives us some more depth to our staff. He’s got some good major league experience. He’s only 24 years old.”
Hendriks started against the Orioles on April 5 at Camden Yards, allowing four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Jake Arrieta started for the Orioles in their home opener.
Hendriks, who has minor league options remaining, originally signed with the Twins as an international free agent in 2007. He will become the third Australian-born Oriole in club history when he makes his debut, joining John Stephens (2002) and Damian Moss (2003).
Closer Grant Balfour would have been the third, except the Orioles backed away from their two-year, $15 million agreement following his physical - in case you forgot.
Balfour is from Sydney. Hendriks was born in Perth.
Baseball America ranked Hendriks as the Twins’ No. 7 prospect prior to the 2012 season.
The Orioles now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
Asked if he could make another move before the Christmas break, Duquette said, “There’s always a chance, but think most clubs are knocking off for the holiday after today.”
Note: Former Orioles manager and coach Sam Perlozzo confirmed today that he’s been hired by the Twins to serve as their minor league infield and baserunning coordinator.