The Orioles claimed Worley off waivers from the Pirates and gave him $2.6 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. He's been viewed as a candidate for the rotation and bullpen.
Worley is out of options and remains in limbo as the executive vice president Dan Duquette continues his efforts to add more pitching. I'm still tabbing Worley as the favorite for the fifth starter spot, but that can change with one phone call.
The Thursday afternoon trade for Odrisamer Despaigne doesn't end Worley's bid. The Cuban right-hander has three minor league options and can ride the shuttle between the majors and Triple-A Norfolk. He's a depth acquisition who gives the Orioles some flexibility.
Should the Orioles make a bigger pitching move, Worley could occupy the final spot in the bullpen. It must be a consideration as Duquette crafts various trade proposals.
Worley has made 23 relief appearances among his 104 games in the majors. He made eight starts in his 23 games with the Pirates last season, going 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.081 WHIP in 28 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
While there may be room in the bullpen for Worley as I type this entry, the Orioles don't appear to be settled. They've expressed interest in free agent right-hander Carlos Torres, 33, who was 5-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 59 appearances with the Mets last season. He posted a 3.06 ERA in 73 games the previous year.
Torres has made 16 starts in six seasons, but the Orioles most likely view him as a pitcher who could give them multiple innings in relief.
The Orioles were outbid by the Mets in their attempts to sign left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Again, they were looking to fortify their bullpen.
Bringing in another starter and reliever would intensify my question regarding Worley.
Paredes also is out of options and would need to make the team as a left-handed designated hitter and pinch-hitter. He also bats from the right side, but he owns a career .203/.244/.266 slash line versus southpaws.
Are there enough at-bats for Paredes with Mark Trumbo likely to become the primary designated hitter? It would only work if they platoon, and Trumbo isn't here to be a part-time player.
Paredes played the outfield in winter ball, but he's better suited to DH. And only if you get the first-half version of him. He batted .299/.332/.475 with 12 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 39 RBIs in 261 at-bats before the break and .216/.252/.265 with five doubles, no home runs and three RBIs in 102 at-bats in the second half.
The 40-man roster is full and the Orioles may be faced with a difficult decision regarding Paredes, especially if they intend to keep Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard.
For the sake of argument, let's put Nolan Reimold in right field, and Rickard, Ryan Flaherty and Caleb Joseph on the bench. The Orioles have one more open spot and it could go to Efren Navarro, though he's got an option.
If Duquette finds a left-handed hitting outfielder to platoon in right field, it would seem impossible for Paredes to break camp with the team unless there's an injury.
Paredes' value may come in his production against division rivals. He's a career .383/.383/.638 hitter with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBIs in 12 games against the Red Sox, a .355/.394/.548 hitter with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBIs in 17 games against the Yankees, and a .340/.367/.574 hitter with two doubles, three triples and 11 RBIs in 17 games against the Blue Jays.
We'll excuse his .146/.186/.171 slash line in 12 games against the Rays.