Orioles re-signing LeBlanc to minor league deal (trade update)

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc is headed back to the Orioles.

LeBlanc has agreed to terms on a minor league deal with a spring training invite, according to a source. LeBlanc can earn a base salary of $700,000 if he’s on the club.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias has sought at least one veteran starting pitcher. The trade of Alex Cobb to the Angels, which is still awaiting approval from the commissioner’s office, could lead to another signing.

The Orioles have major league offers on the table for multiple pitchers.

Thumbnail image for leblanc-pitch-orange-home.jpg.jpgLeBlanc accepted a minor league deal on Feb. 1, 2020 and made six starts before going on the 60-day injured list on Aug. 25 with a left elbow stress reaction. The Orioles replaced him with rookie Keegan Akin.

The injury occurred in the first inning of an Aug. 23 game against the Red Sox. LeBlanc threw 14 pitches, motioned to the dugout and headed to the clubhouse with assistant athletic trainer Mark Shires.

LeBlanc, 36, registered an 8.06 ERA and 1.567 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings while working for his eighth team. His last pitch of the 2020 season was a curveball to Christian Vázquez.

The next one will come at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 16.

The last contract for LeBlanc was supposed to pay $800,000, but salaries were prorated due to COVID-19.

LeBlanc made his major league debut with the Padres in 2008. He’s gone 46-47 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in 240 games and reached his career high in innings with 162 in 2018.

The former second-round pick out of the University of Alabama is routinely on the move. He’s also pitched for the Marlins, Astros, Angels, Yankees, Mariners and Pirates, and spent one summer outside the U.S.

LeBlanc signed with the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball prior to the 2015 season and appeared in eight games before accepting a minor league contract from the Blue Jays.

The Orioles could insert LeBlanc into a rotation that likely includes John Means and rookies Akin and Dean Kremer.

Manager Brandon Hyde could be greeting another new addition in camp or choose between a group of candidates that includes Jorge López, Bruce Zimmermann, Thomas Eshelman, and Rule 5 picks Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi first reported the agreement with LeBlanc.

Update: The trade is official. Cobb goes to the Angels for second baseman/outfielder Jahmai Jones.

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