Orioles sign Ofriedy Gómez to minor league deal

SAN DIEGO – The Orioles made their first move of the Winter Meetings this afternoon. A minor league deal that won’t get a team to the podium but is aimed at providing depth.

The club announced that it signed pitcher Ofriedy Gómez, who spent this season in the Phillies organization and registered a combined 5.19 ERA and 1.754 WHIP in 38 games between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Gómez is assigned to Triple-A Norfolk’s roster.

The one-year deal with starter Kyle Gibson, pending a physical, hasn’t been announced. An agreement was reached over the weekend.

Gómez, 27, hasn’t pitched in the majors. He spent eight years in the Royals organization beginning in 2013, and the 2021 season in the White Sox’s system following his release. He signed with the Phillies in April.

The right-hander is 34-51 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.445 WHIP in 200 games, including 99 working out of the bullpen. He’s surrendered only 51 home runs in 658 2/3 innings.

Gómez posted a 1.35 ERA in 14 relief appearances with Reading, allowing three earned runs and striking out 28 batters in 20 innings. He struggled at the next level, allowing 22 runs and 28 hits, walking 26 batters and striking out 27 over 23 1/3 innings.

Today’s move doesn’t impact the 40-man roster. The Orioles will have two openings after Gibson’s deal becomes official.

* Former Orioles pitcher Thomas Eshelman announced his retirement on Twitter, saying that he’s taking a job as a pitching coach in the Padres organization.

“Officially on the other side of the fence,” Eshelman wrote. “I’ve been blessed to be able to play the game I love for so long and I’m excited to share the things that I’ve learned and will continue to learn with the generations to come.”

Eshelman made all 31 of his major league appearances with the Orioles between 2019-21 and posted a 5.77 ERA in 98 1/3 innings. He had a 3.89 ERA in 12 games, including four starts, in 2020 and tied for the team lead in wins with three during the truncated season.

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