The Baltimore Orioles have made a trade with the New York Mets for a starting pitcher. It’s just not a name ya-know-ah.
The O’s have acquired right-handed Gabriel Ynoa (pronounced ya-know-ah) in exchange for cash just days before pitchers and catchers report to work in Sarasota. It’s the second trade between the two clubs for a pitcher this offseason.
The move gives Buck Showalter one more arm to look at during Spring Training and added depth throughout the organization. Dan Duquette views Ynoa as a potential big league starter as the Orioles are entering contract years with many of their pitchers.
“Our scouts feel he can develop into a major league starting pitcher by developing a consistent breaking pitch,” Duquette said in a statement. “We look forward to his contributions to the Orioles this season and beyond.”
Ynoa will likely start the season in Triple-A Norfolk as a starter. That’s unless the Orioles feel he is good enough to fill fifth spot and send either Wade Miley or Ubaldo Jimenez packing during Spring Training.
Ynoa spent most of 2016 at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he went 12-5 with a 3.97 ERA before being called up to the Majors on Aug. 13. He posted a 6.38 ERA in 10 appearances (three starts) in 18 1/3 innings.
To make room on the 40-man roster for the 23-year-old pitcher, the Orioles designated catcher Francisco Pena for assignment. It was a bit of a surprise that Pena was dropped from the roster, as many felt he would compete with Caleb Joseph as the backup catcher.
Baltimore has a week to trade Pena or place him on waivers before he can be assigned to the minors.
If Pena should go elsewhere, the O’s would be a Joseph or Welington Castillo injury away from calling prized prospect Chance Sisco to the Majors. It has been highly anticipated that Sisco could make his Major League debut at some point this season, and now there is one less player that stands in his way.
It’s another move by Duquette that’s not flashy, but gives the O’s some depth. You can never have enough pitching and the Orioles have added a piece they feel could become a fixture in the rotation. The Mets have produced a stable of quality young hurlers, and Baltimore is hopeful they landed one for a little bit of cash.