Orioles news: relief pitcher signed to minor league contract

The Orioles made their first addition of the offseason
Kansas City Royals Photo Day: Pitcher Nathan Webb poses for a photo
Kansas City Royals Photo Day: Pitcher Nathan Webb poses for a photo / Kelsey Grant/GettyImages

Most of the offseason for baseball doesn't truly begin until after the World Series. That doesn't stop teams, including the Orioles, from making moves entirely when their season ends short of a World Series title.

On Wednesday morning, FanSided's Robert Murray was first with the news that the Orioles signed right-handed pitcher Nathan Webb to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Orioles add relief pitcher to organization on minor league contract

Webb was a free agent and allowed to be signed because he was not on a 40-man roster at the end of the regular season, so he entered the offseason as a minor league free agent. He wasn't a free agent for long, as he's joining a new organization in October.

An interesting wrinkle to this signing is the fact that it's a two year minor league contract. Most minor league signings are for one year, but the Orioles chose to attach another year on top of it. Webb will start the 2024 season on the injured list as he's recovering from Tommy John Surgery that he underwent at the end of 2023 spring training, so that likely explains why the Orioles made it a two-year contract.

Webb spent the 2022 season in the Kansas City Royals organization, pitching most of the year with Double A Northwest Arkansas. He had a bloated 9.57 ERA and ugly 2.932 WHIP in 20 relief appearances and 26 1/3 innings in Arkansas. He saw three appearances with Triple A Omaha as well.

In 2016, Webb was drafted by the Royals in the 34th round of the draft out of high school. He had spent his entire career in the Royals organization until the end of 2022, when he was DFA'd and released. He then spent last year in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Webb started his minor league career as a starter before he was converted to a relief pitcher. In his minor league career, he has a 6.11 ERA and 1.60 WHIP to go with 301 strikeouts in 26 starts and 110 total games, including six saves.

Minor league moves don't often move the needle at the major league level, and that is most certainly the case here with Webb. It does however present an interesting upside signing by the Orioles in the hopes that he can turn things around and potentially be a big league candidate in 2025.