Orioles Offseason Roundup

Busy Offseason for O's Includes Various MiLB Free Agent Signings

By Bowie Baysox | January 5, 2018 2:36 PM

BOWIE, Md.- It has been a busy offseason thus far in the Baltimore Orioles organization with the signing of a multitude of minor league free agents and the annual Rule 5 draft. As we inch closer to spring training, let's take a look some former and potential future Baysox that could find themselves in Bowie during the 2018 season.

C Martin Cervenka , 25, has had an eventual offseason as the young backstop signed with the Giants as a minor league free agent before being selected by the Orioles in the MiLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft in December. Cervenka spent seven seasons in the Cleveland system and enjoyed a career-best campaign in 2017 as he hit .278-8-57 in 112 games with High-A Lynchburg and gunned down 40.0% (16-40) of would be base stealers.

1B Joe Maloney , 27, was signed by the Orioles as a minor league free agent after winning MVP in the independent Can-Am League during the 2017 season. In 99 games with the Rockland Boulders, Maloney hit .282 with 35 home runs and 101 RBI. Originally a 10th round selection of the Texas Rangers in 2011, the Chester, Pa., native most recently played in the minors in 2016 when he posted a line of .256-6-51 in 114 games between Fort Myers (A+) and Chattanooga (AA) in the Twins system.

RHP Christian Binford , 25, comes to the Orioles after spending the first six seasons of his career in the Kansas City Royals system. A 30th round draft pick of the Royals in 2011, Binford rose as high as Triple-A in each of the last four years. The right-hander began the 2017 season with Northwest Arkansas (AA), going 1-0 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts before being promoted to Omaha (AAA) where he was 7-10 with a 7.24 ERA in 22 games (19 starts).

RHP Ralston Cash , 26, signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent after spending the majority of the previous six seasons with the Dodgers organization. Cash was 3-2 with a 5.28 ERA in 31 G for Tulsa (AA) last season before finishing the year with Arkansas (AA) in the Seattle system where he posted a 1-0 mark and allowed one earned run in 4.2 IP. In his Double-A career, the 26-year-old is 11-11 with a 3.78 ERA in 120 games between Chattanooga (2014), Tulsa (2015-17) and Arkansas (2017).

RHP Jeff Ferrell , 27, is no stranger to the Eastern League after pitching for Erie in parts of three of the last four seasons. The Charlotte, N.C. native pitched for three different teams in 2017: Erie (1-0, 1.04, SV in 8 G), Triple-A Toledo (2-1, 2.51, 2 SV in 41 G) and Detroit (0-0, 6.75 in 11 G). Ferrell has appeared in 20 games for the Tigers in his career (0-0, 6.51). In his EL career, the right-hander is 11-9 with a 4.72 ERA and 13 saves in 50 games (26 starts) over parts of three seasons with Erie (2014-15, 2017).

RHP Perci Garner , 29, signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent in December after missing a majority of the 2017 season due to injury. Garner did appear in 10 games with Akron last year, posting a 3.14 ERA and fanning 18 batters in 14.1 IP. The Ball State University product is 9-6 with a 3.85 ERA and three saves in 54 games (18 starts) during his Eastern League career with stints in Reading (2013-14) and Akron (2016-17). Garner has eight games of major league experience that came with the Indians during the 2016 season.

Like a few others on this list, LHP Luis Lugo , 23, is an experienced Eastern League arm after spending the entire 2017 season with Akron, going 8-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 26 G (25 GS). Lugo was originally signed by the Indians as an amateur free agent in 2011 and had spent his entire career in the organization prior to this offseason.

RHP Tim Melville , 28, is the most recent addition to the organization after signing with the Orioles on Dec. 22. The right-hander spent 2017 with four different teams between the Twins and Padres organizations: Triple-A Rochester (4-3, 2.70 in 11 G, 10 GS), Minnesota (0-1, 13.50 in 1 GS), Triple-A El Paso (1-0, 4.66 in 2 GS) and San Diego (0-0, 7.71 in 2 G). Melville was born in Alexandria, Va., which is just under 30 miles away from Prince George's Stadium.

LHP Ryan O'Rourke , 29, missed all of the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery and signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent in November. In 2016, the southpaw split time between Triple-A Rochester (1-1, 1.93 in 33 G) and Minnesota (0-1, 3.96 in 26 G). O'Rourke has appeared in 54 games with the Twins over parts of two seasons (2015-16) and is 0-1 with a 4.98 ERA while fanning 48 batters in 47.0 IP.

LHP Joely Rodriguez , 26, was signed by the Orioles as a minor league free agent in November after splitting 2017 between Triple-A Round Rock in the Texas sytem (2-0, 6.33 in 22 G) and the Phillies (1-2, 6.33 in 26 G). Rodriguez has previous stops in the Eastern League with Altoona (2014) and Reading (2015-16), posting a 4.65 ERA in 82 games (29 starts) in the circuit.

RHP Konner Wade , 26, was acquired by the Orioles from Colorado in exchange for international bonus pool slot money this offseason. Wade, a University of Arizona product, pitched for Hartford in 2017 and posted a 9-7 record with a 4.28 ERA in 33 G (15 GS). The 26-year-old is 10-11 with a 4.65 ERA in 70 G (24 GS) with the Yard Goats over the last two seasons.

Other transactions for the Orioles this offseason include the re-signing of 2017 Baysox: C Armando Araiza (24), 1B Aderlin Rodriguez (26), UTIL Garabez Rosa (28; 2017 Eastern League MVP) and INF Erick Salcedo (24).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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