Sorting through minor league free agents with Orioles connections

As the Orioles sift through the batch of minor league free agents who could fill out rosters at the upper levels of their farm system, they’re going to stumble upon some familiar names. Reunions are unlikely, though a few of them may intrigue you.

Others may cause you to run screaming into the night.

The list includes former Orioles outfielder Henry Urrutia, who finished the season with the Red Sox’s Double-A affiliate in Portland, Maine.

The Orioles released Urrutia on May 25 and the Red Sox signed him on June 14. He batted .284/.360/.389 with 13 doubles and three home runs in 63 games with the Sea Dogs.

Urrutia turns 31 in February and needs to get out of the Eastern League.

Second baseman Jemile Weeks is a free agent after spending the summer at Triple-A Iowa in the Cubs organization, where he batted .235/.316/.358 in 63 games. The Orioles acquired Weeks and catcher David Freitas from the Athletics on Dec. 2, 2013 for closer Jim Johnson and dealt him to the Red Sox the following August.

A forgettable tenure consisting of only three games.

Steve Johnson also is a free agent after the Orioles traded him to the White Sox on Aug. 9. He made five starts with Triple-A Charlotte and was charged with 20 runs in 21 1/3 innings, but he hadn’t pitched in a month before changing organizations. He tossed three scoreless innings with no walks and four strikeouts in his debut.

lough-throw-orange-sidebar.jpgOutfielder David Lough is available again. He never made it to the majors this year, playing at Triple-A Toledo and Columbus. The Orioles want another left-handed bat, but Lough didn’t make much of an impression with them in 2014-2015 with a .227/.280/.354 slash line in 196 games and only 10 stolen bases in 19 attempts.

Eddie Gamboa and his knuckleball are on the market again after he pitched this year in the Rangers and Dodgers systems. He was 5-6 with a 6.49 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Round Rock and 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers’ list of minor league free agents also includes Jair Jurrjens. Yes, he’s still pitching.

Jurrjens hasn’t been seen in the majors since making two starts with the Rockies in 2014. His Orioles career consisted of two games, including one start, in 2013. He pitched for Team Netherlands this spring in the World Baseball Classic.

Chris Parmelee, who appeared in 32 games with the Orioles in 2015 and had seven doubles, a triple and four home runs, played for Triple-A Nashville and New Orleans this summer. He’s counted among the Marlins’ free agents.

If you wonder whatever happened to 6-foot-9 reliever Kam Mickolio, part of the return in the Erik Bedard trade with the Mariners, he made seven appearances with Triple-A Rochester after pitching in Japan from 2012-2014 and 2016 and registering a 2.42 ERA with 73 saves.

Mickolio hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 with the Diamondbacks.

Outfielder Travis Snider probably won’t tempt the Orioles with his left-handed swing. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2015, including his 69 games with the Orioles that produced a .237/.318/.341 slash line. The Mets purchased his contract from the Rangers in August.

Hard pass.

The Orioles also won’t bring back Jake Fox, whose last major league game was Sept. 25, 2011. The Phillies signed him in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. He’s had three stints with the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League and also has played in Mexico and Korea.

Give him at-bats in spring training and he’ll rake.

Adam Loewen, the fourth overall pick in 2002, is pitching again after switching to first base and the outfield. He was in the Rangers organization this year and had a 4.02 ERA and 1.691 WHIP in 32 relief appearances at Round Rock and a 3.48 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 18 relief appearances at Double-A Frisco.

Brandon Snyder, the 13th overall pick in 2005, spent 2017 in the Nationals organization and batted .263/.356/.490 with 24 doubles, 23 home runs and 77 RBIs in 121 games with Triple-A Syracuse.

Left-hander Ashur Tolliver, lost to the Angels on a waiver claim in September 2016, had a 7.13 ERA and 2.038 WHIP in 31 relief appearances with Triple-A Fresno before the Astros released him. The Mariners signed Tolliver and he got into five games with Double-A Arkansas.

The Orioles could bring back left-hander Jarret Martin after trading him to the Dodgers at the 2011 Winter Meetings for left-hander Dana Eveland. Executive vice president Dan Duquette also included minor league outfielder Tyler Henson in the deal. He didn’t make it to the podium.

Martin had a 2.04 ERA this year in 37 games with Double-A Richmond in the Giants system.

The Orioles signed Adam Brett Walker twice this year. It’s not likely to happen again after he ended the summer with Triple-A Louisville.

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