Orioles grant 49-year-old Moyer his release

Orioles grant 49-year-old Moyer his release

BALTIMORE -- Veteran Jamie Moyer asked for and was granted his release on Saturday, effectively making him a free agent again as the Orioles decided the 49-year-old lefty wasn't in their immediate plans.

"We just decided as an organization we were going to go with the other pitchers that we have here," said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who signed Moyer to a Minor League deal earlier in June. "We also have some depth in starting pitching at Triple-A."

Moyer, who was released by the Rockies in late May, signed with the Orioles on the grounds that he would have a three-start audition with Triple-A Norfolk. And while he fared well, going 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA, the improved performances of fellow Tides starters Chris Tillman and Zach Britton -- coupled with the team's pair of off-days within five days -- meant there wasn't a pressing need for Moyer to join the big league club.

"We've been talking about it for really three days," manager Buck Showalter said of the possibility of Moyer being activated. "All things considered with us, it felt like with some of the things going on with our organization's pitchers, without mentioning names, we feel like we have the potential to have some depth there. We feel like we have some options."

"We tried to explain the timing of the two off-days to Jamie and his [representative], but I understand Jamie's urgency as well," Duquette said. "He wants to win as many Major League games as he can."

Moyer missed the entire 2011 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, and made the Rockies' Opening Day roster this season. He is 269-209 with a 4.25 ERA in parts of 25 big league seasons, having played for eight Major League teams, and Showalter is rooting for that to become nine.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him pitching for somebody shortly," Showalter said. "Personally, just out of respect for his career and the things he's done, I hope it happens."

Others aren't as optimistic regarding Moyer, who became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to win a game earlier this season.

"I think he's had a remarkable career, and I thought he was 50, not 49," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "But, I mean, no, I don't think anybody is going to pick him up. Maybe as a pitching coach. But he's a poster boy for a lot of us old folks, so I wish him well."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.