SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles completed their fourth transaction in as many days on Tuesday, trading for Yankees left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier in exchange for a player to be named later.
To create room on the 40-man roster, Baltimore designated Christian Walker for assignment. Walker was a late scratch at first base for Tuesday's intrasquad game as a result.
"Bleier is a left-handed pitcher, he's got a good sinker and he came up with a cutter last year which helped him get out righties more effectively. Our hope is with his sinker and cutter he'll be able to establish himself as a solid Major League pitcher," said Dan Duquette, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. "[He's] got a lot of experience over the course of his career and he did some good work last September in the [American League] East. Pitched pretty well against us, actually, the last series."
Bleier, who has Minor League options remaining, made his Major League debut on May 30 against Toronto. He made seven relief appearances in the month of September, and posted a 0.00 ERA in 9 2/3 innings pitched, allowed three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
He should add some depth to an Orioles pitching staff that headed into the winter needing exactly that. Duquette traded for lefty Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers on Sunday, and recently traded for righty Gabriel Ynoa from the Mets, in what has been an active week for transactions.
Bleier joins Nuno and outfielders Michael Bourn and Craig Gentry as additions to big league camp since Saturday. The 29-year-old Bleier is 55-57 with a 4.02 ERA in 241 career Minor League games (123 starts).
It was a numbers game for Walker, who didn't really fit in given that the O's had re-signed Mark Trumbo and also have Trey Mancini and Dariel Alvarez in camp. Walker batted .264/.321/.437 with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs in 131 games for Triple-A Norfolk last season. He has appeared in 13 Major League games, posting a .148/.258/.296 line with one home run and an RBI.