Baltimore signs five to minor league contracts

O's ink five pitchers to minor league deals

Jason Gurka, signed by Baltimore as a free agent, made two starts with Norfolk during the 2014 season. (Les Treagus/Norfolk Tides)

By Norfolk Tides | December 1, 2017 4:07 PM

The Baltimore Orioles today announced the signing of five players to 2018 minor league contracts. The club has signed RHP Christian Binford, RHP Perci Garner, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP Jason Gurka and LHP Luis Lugo.

Binford, who turns 25 on December 20th, has spent his entire career in the minor league system for the Kansas City Royals. He was originally selected in the 30th round of the 2011 draft, and he was selected to play in the prestigous All-Star Futures Game in 2014. He was also the starting pitcher for the Omaha Storm Chasers when they won the 2014 Triple-A National Championship Game. He went 7-10 with a 7.24 ERA in 22 games (19 starts) for Omaha in 2017. 

Garner, who turns 29 on December 13th, has gone 29-25 with a 3.99 ERA in 146 games (74 starts) over seven minor league seasons in the Philadelphia and Cleveland systems. Last year, he posted a 3.14 ERA in 10 outings with Double-A Akron in the Indians organization, and he posted a 4.82 ERA in eight big league appearances with Cleveland in 2016. He was originally selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Ball State University. 

Wojciechowski, who turns 29 on December 21st, split the 2017 campaign between Triple-A Louisville and Cincinnati in the Reds system. He's made 30 career appearances (11 starts) in the major leagues between Cincinnati and Houston, going 4-4 with a 6.64 ERA. He was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (41st overall) of the 2010 draft out of The Citadel. 

Gurka, who will turn 30 on January 10th, returns to the Orioles system after being originally selected by Baltimore in the 15th round of the 2008 draft. The southpaw has made 18 career big league outings between Colorado and the Los Angeles Angels, including three scoreless appearances for Los Angeles in 2017. He made two starts with Norfolk during the 2014 season, and he posted a 2.12 ERA in 30 outings with Triple-A Salt Lake last season. 

Lugo, who turns 24 on March 5th, went 8-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Double-A Akron in the Cleveland system in 2017. He's registered at least eight wins in each of the last four seasons, including a career-high 10 victories for Class-A Lake County in 2014. The Venezuela native was originally signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent on February 28, 2011. He also played for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

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

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