The Orioles have signed RHP Luis Ayala to a one year contract worth $825,000 with a $1 million option for 2013.
I actually like this signing despite it giving the Orioles something like 35 candidates for 7 bullpen spots. Its not so much that I think Ayala is great but I like the contract and I think signings like these are how you build a good cheap bullpen, a la the Tampa Bay Rays. After starting his career with four very good seasons he had two poor seasons in a row and didn’t even pitch in 2010. The Yankees signed him to a minor league contract last season and he put up a 2.09 ERA over 56 innings with 39 strikeouts and 20 walks. I don’t think we can expect a season like that but hes a solid veteran should help stabilize the bullpen. The Kevin Gregg signing last year would’ve been much more acceptable if it was for around $1 million instead of $5 million. If Ayala goes back to pitching like he did in ’08 and ’09 we can release him without losing much money but if he keeps pitching like he did last year and the first four seasons of his career then we got great value for a good reliever. Spring training is going to be crazy competitive for spots in the rotation and the bullpen.