Orioles sign Kohl Stewart

The Orioles have signed a major league free agent as part of their winter activity.

The club announced today that it agreed to terms with right-hander Kohl Stewart. Pitcher Marcos Diplán was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster.

The Twins outrighted Stewart on Nov. 4 and he elected free agency.

Orioles-cap-shades-and-glove-sidebar.jpgTaken with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Pius X High School in Houston, Stewart was 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.418 WHIP in eight games (four starts) as a rookie in 2018 and 2-2 with a 6.39 ERA and 1.461 WHIP in nine games (two starts) earlier this year.

Stewart, 25, receives a split contract from the Orioles that pays $800,000 if he’s in the majors. He can be optioned, giving the club some flexibility.

In seven minor league seasons, Stewart has compiled a 39-40 record with a 3.60 ERA and 1.374 WHIP in 131 games, including 125 starts, and has averaged 0.5 home runs allowed per nine innings.

He doesn’t miss a lot of bats, averaging 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors and 4.9 in the majors.

Stewart made 20 appearances (19 starts) with Triple-A Rochester over the summer and compiled a 5.14 ERA and 1.473 WHIP in 91 innings.

The Orioles need starting pitchers and Stewart instantly becomes a candidate. Only John Means, Alex Cobb and Asher Wojciechowski are penciled into the rotation.

Diplán, 23, was claimed off waivers from the Tigers on the first day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego. He pitched at the Double-A levels in the Brewers and Twins systems this year and posted a 4.85 ERA and 1.471 WHIP with 44 walks and 73 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.

The Tigers claimed Diplán off waivers from the Twins in September.

Diplán has a minor league option remaining, but the Orioles didn’t wait to use it. He can be claimed by another team.

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