Pérez provides example of hugely successful waiver claim

The Winter Meetings that begin Sunday in San Diego will maintain or create new dialogues between Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and various executives and scouts. Talks aimed at producing a trade or free agent signing, or building momentum toward resolutions later in the offseason.

The Orioles have been fairly predictable in the past, but moving into a more competitive stage, with a more aggressive attitude, could change that entirely.

What should stay the same is the annual selection in the Rule 5 draft, the only interruption blamed on the lockout, unless picking 17th costs them the players they wanted. They aren’t averse to passing.

They could add to the list of waiver claims that includes third baseman Rio Ruiz at the 2018 Winter Meetings, Elias’ first major league addition, reliever Marcos Diplán at the 2019 event and pitcher Ashton Goudeau in 2020.

It always leads to the line, “Assuring that they won’t go home with just a Rule 5 pick.”

Ruiz was the most successful, though it only required a .220/.292/.380 slash line, 24 home runs and 84 RBIs in 213 games to thrust him to the head of the pack.

Outfielder Daz Cameron was this year’s most recent waiver claim, joining the organization last month, until first baseman Lewin Díaz's arrival yesterday via the Pirates. Cameron passed through waivers and was outrighted.

Catchers Aramis Garcia and Mark Kolozsvary were claimed from the Reds on the same October day and later outrighted off the 40-man roster, with the former declining it and becoming a free agent.

Elias made two claims in November 2021 that could rank among his finest: relievers Cionel Pérez and Bryan Baker.  

I revisited Baker’s breakthrough in this article, including how he posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.100 WHIP in 30 innings after the All-Star break, and registered a 2.13 ERA in his last 40 appearances.

Pérez also became an unexpected weapon at the back end of the bullpen, posting a 1.40 ERA in 66 games. Only Dillon Tate appeared in more, edging out Pérez by one.

The two home runs surrendered were the fewest among relievers who pitched in more than 17 games. His 25 holds tied for third in the American League and sixth in the majors, and tied with Darren O’Day in 2014 for second-most in Orioles history behind Buddy Groom’s 27 in 2000.

The Orioles finished 74-88 in 2000. Groom’s holds couldn’t save them.

Pérez’s seven wins in eight decisions, which led the bullpen, were a bonus. He lowered his walk rate from 7.5 in 2021 to 3.3, which also was responsible for keeping him on the active roster throughout the season.

Elias had a history with Pérez, who defected from Cuba and signed with the Astros in 2016. Pérez was out of minor league options and the Orioles deemed him worthy of an audition in spring training.

If it didn’t work out, he could be placed on waivers and outrighted off the 40-man roster if he cleared.

It worked out.

Pérez surrendered only one earned run, and two total, in 35 home games totaling 31 1/3 innings, the sixth-lowest home ERA in baseball since 1912 in a minimum of 30 innings. It’s the lowest since Orioles left-hander Zack Britton posted a 0.26 ERA with one earned run in 34 2/3 innings in 2016.

The Orioles might lead the league in odd bullpen splits.

Pérez registered a 0.92 ERA in 45 night games with four earned runs in 39 innings, the sixth-lowest in the majors with a minimum of 35 innings. He had a 2.41 ERA in the day with five earned runs in 18 2/3 innings.

Another interesting fact about Pérez: He began his Orioles career with 11 scoreless appearances, only the third pitcher in club history to reach that length after Will Ohman in 2010 and Donnie Hart in 2016.

Must be a lefty thing.

Bellinger to Baltimore: Just a dream or a more rea...
Orioles sign Franchy Cordero, claim Lewin Díaz, pl...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/