Report: Orioles sign Teheran to minor league deal

SARASOTA, Fla. – Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias kept checking the pitching market for rotation depth after players reported to spring training. He’s reportedly made a move tonight.

Veteran right-hander Julio Teheran has agreed to a minor league deal with an invitation to camp, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Teheran will receive $2 million if he’s in the majors, and his contract includes a $100,000 signing bonus and an opt-out clause.

Elias confirmed on Feb. 15 that Kyle Bradish, who evolved into the staff ace last summer and finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting, would begin the season on the 15-day injured list with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Bradish received a platelet-rich plasma injection in January and began a throwing progression in Sarasota, playing catch again this morning at 90 feet.

In addition, John Means is headed to the IL because he’s a month behind after experiencing elbow soreness before the Division Series.

The Orioles are proceeding as though Bradish will be available in 2024, with Means an anticipated reinstatement by April. But Elias also was working the phones.

“We’re still looking,” he said on the first day of camp. “I don’t know that I can prognosticate any additions. There’s obviously still people out there.”

Which brings the Orioles to Teheran, who turned 33 last month.

Teheran has logged parts of 12 years in the majors, the first nine with the Braves. He made 30 or more starts in seven consecutive seasons beginning in 2013, when he placed fifth in Rookie of the Year balloting in the National League. He owns a 3.83 ERA and 1.219 WHIP in 254 games and is a two-time All-Star.

Teheran signed with the Angels as a free agent prior to the 2020 season and registered a 10.05 ERA and 1.755 WHIP in 10 games. He made one start with the Tigers the following year due to a shoulder strain and returned to the majors last summer with the Brewers, posting a 4.40 ERA and 1.130 WHIP in 14 games (11 starts).

He walked only 13 batters in 71 2/3 innings after averaging 4.6 with the Angels.

The 2022 season found Teheran pitching in the independent Atlantic League and in Mexico. He twice opted out of his minor league deal with the Padres in ’23 before the Brewers signed him in May.

Teheran made six consecutive Opening Day starts with the Braves. The Orioles traded for Corbin Burnes earlier this month and aren’t asking much from Teheran beyond battling for a roster spot.

Tyler Wells and Cole Irvin have the inside track on the two openings in the rotation, and Teheran could be tossed into the bullpen competition for a long relief role.

The camp roster will expand to 63 players.

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