Orioles sign Ayala
The Baltimore Orioles have signed pitcher Luis Ayala to a split contract, according to Roch Kobatko. The Washington Nationals recently released Ayala. Ayala pitched for the Orioles in 2012 and posted a 5-5 record with a 2.64 era. Ayala also pitched in two games for the Orioles last season before being traded to the Atlanta Braves.
Ayala is 36 years old and pitches out of the bullpen, he will likely provide depth for the Orioles at the minor league level. Ayala fastball has been a concern but he never lit up the radar gun and rarely hits above 90 mph.
When Ayala was on the Orioles he was one of the most loved players in the locker room and befriended a lot of the members including Miguel Gonzalez. I think it is a long shot that Ayala will make the Orioles roster out of spring training but he may be a factor down the road. At this point in his career Ayala can be used as a long reliever.
The Orioles have shown that they are more than willing to stack up on veteran players that will provide depth down at the AAA level that are more than capable of making emergency appearances.
Here is Kobatko’s tweet about Ayala.
Adding Ayala won’t impact relievers projected for #orioles bullpen. Depth move. Will be split contract. Assume opt-out clause
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 20, 2014