Orioles trade deadline dud departs for motor city in free agency

Jack Flaherty's time in Baltimore has come to an end
Sep 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (15) delivers a pitch
Sep 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (15) delivers a pitch / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles made a few moves last season to bolster the team, trading for Shintaro Fujinami a few weeks out of the deadline and then Jack Flaherty on trade deadline day to add to their bullpen and rotation respectively.

Both pitchers entered free agency this offseason, free to sign anywhere. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Thursday that Flaherty has signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Detroit Tigers, officially ending his tenure in Baltimore.

Trade deadline acquisition Jack Flaherty signs with Detroit Tigers in free agency

After the rocky season Flaherty had, $14 million given to him by the Tigers seems to be a little steep. Perhaps Scott Harris sees Flaherty as a bounce back candidate in the right scenery. However, that is the same view people had when he was traded to the Orioles.

To be fair, it started out that way. His first start with the Orioles came against a division rival in the Blue Jays, allowing one run while striking out eight hitters in six innings. After that, it was all downhill for Flaherty.

He only had one scoreless appearance in an Orioles uniform while posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.673 WHIP over nine appearances and 34 2/3 innings. Things went poorly enough that he found himself pitching out of the bullpen at the end of the regular season. In the playoffs, he allowed a run in two innings of relief.

Flaherty's fastball velocity was down a half mile from two seasons ago while the whiff rate on his slider dropped from 40.5 percent in 2021 all the way down to 26.5 percent in 2023. He gave up seven home runs in his 34 2/3 innings in Baltimore for an average of 1.8 per nine, a rather high number.

While Flaherty wasn't a source of constant panic and heart attacks from Orioles fans in his brief stint with the team, it's hard to disagree with the notion that things just didn't work out for Flaherty in Baltimore, and it's fair to call the trade a dud. Now, he's off to Detroit, where hopefully for his sake, he can rediscover a bit of his old form.