O's deal Matusz, improve pitching depth

Baltimore nets pair of Minor League pitchers in exchange for lefty

O's deal Matusz, improve pitching depth

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles made a series of moves on Monday night, trading lefty pitcher Brian Matusz and the 76th pick, a lottery pick, in this year's MLB Draft to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Minor League pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek.

The Orioles also acquired right-hander Franderlyn Romero from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for two international signing bonus slots and agreed to terms with left-hander Brian Duensing on a Minor League contract

Matusz, who has posted a 12.00 ERA over seven appearances this season after coming back from the disabled list,was designated for assignment by Atlanta. The Braves took on the trade to assume the remainder of his $3.9 million salary to gain the extra Draft pick and sweeten their Draft bonus pool by $838,900 (the figure assigned to the 76th selection).

For Baltimore, they get a pair of young pitching and an open spot in the bullpen, which they are expected to fill by adding another lefty since closer Zach Britton is now the only southpaw.

"With today's moves, we have added to the pitching depth of our organization," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "The pitchers we have acquired today are very competitive and have very good instincts. They have excellent control, keep ball in the ballpark and consistently keep the ball over the plate. Not only have we stocked the pitching in our farm system, but we also added three potential Major Leaguers. We'd all like to thank Brian [Matusz] for his contributions to our team, both on the field and in the community."

Duensing, 33, has gone 41-37 with a 4.13 ERA over 354 career games (61 starts) in seven Major League seasons.

Barker, 23, went 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 45 innings over nine games (eight starts) with Double-A Mississippi. The right-hander expected to report to Double-A Bowie. The lefty Belicek, also 23, is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 12 games (28 1/3 innings) between Mississippi and Class A Rome. The lefty is expected to be with the O's Class A Adavanced affiliate in Frederick, Md.

Matusz, the Orioles' former first-round Draft pick, leaves Baltimore 27-41 with a 4.85 ERA in 279 games (68 starts) over parts of eight seasons. He was converted to a lefty specialist role for the team's playoff run in 2012, first appearing in relief late that season.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.