Orioles agree to minor-league deal with Dale Thayer

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On Wednesday, Dale Thayer agreed to a minor-league contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

Thayer spent the past four seasons with the San Diego Padres. In 264 career games, Thayer is 11-17 with a 3.47 ERA.

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He was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in the 47th round of the 1999 draft, but did not sign with them. He went undrafted out of Chico State in 2002 and signed with the Padres three months later. He pitched in their minor league system before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in late 2006. He made his major league debut with them in 2009. He appeared in 11 games that season and only one game in 2010 before being sent back down to the minors. He signed with the New York Mets the next season and appeared in 11 games. He signed a minor league contract with the Padres after the 2011 season and pitched for them the next four seasons.

From 2012-2014, Thayer had a combined ERA of 3.02. Last season he struggled with an ERA of 4.06 ERA. The Orioles bullpen was fifth in the majors with an ERA of 3.21. The Padres bullpen on the other hand had an ERA of 4.02, which was 23rd in the majors. The Padres signed 10 pitchers this offseason (mostly relievers) to help turn their struggling bullpen around. Apparently Thayer was not in General Manager A.J. Preller’s plan to even try for a spot.

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At age 35, Thayer may not even make their opening day roster, but could possibly make his way into their bullpen later in the season. He has veteran experience and it may depend on where the Orioles are throughout their season to determine whether or not they use someone with Thayers experience. We know that he has been successful in the past; the question now is whether he can regain his form from 2012-2014.

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