Orioles claim right-hander Vance Worley off waivers from Pirates

How does Vance Worley fit into the Orioles' plans for 2016?

The Orioles made their first acquisition of the offseason Tuesday, claiming right-hander Vance Worley off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The club also designated right-handed reliever Jorge Rondon for assignment to make space on the 40-man roster for Worley.

Worley, 28, was 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 23 appearances (eight starts) for the Pirates in 2015. Despite losing to Jeff Locke in a battle for Pittsburgh’s fifth-starter spot in spring training, Worley opened the season in the Pirates rotation when right-hander Charlie Morton was injured.

Worley was 2-3 with a 4.38 ERA in seven starts before moving to the bullpen upon Morton’s return. He pitched in relief before he was designated in late July. Worley cleared waivers and pitched in Triple-A for a month before returning to the Pirates when rosters expanded in September.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Worley posted a 2.83 ERA in 28 2/3 innings as a reliever in 2015, mostly in a long-relief role, holding opposing hitters to a .236 average. But the Orioles will likely initially look at Worley as a starting pitcher this spring. He is out of minor league options.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette called Worley a “solid, dependable [major league] pitcher with good control. [He is] a good fielder [who] keeps the ball down and in the park.”

Worley, a third-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, was 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 25 games (21 starts) with Philadelphia in 2011, when he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

The Phillies dealt him to the Minnesota Twins following the 2012 season in the trade for Ben Revere. Worley struggled in 2013, his only season in the American League, going 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts before being sent to Triple-A and eventually landing on the minor league disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

Worley resuscitated his career with the Pirates in 2014, going 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 games (17 starts), earning a chance to compete for a rotation spot this past spring.

In the first of four arbitration-eligible seasons, Worley -- who is Super 2 arbitration-eligible -- made $2.45 million in 2015, so he was a non-tender candidate for the Pirates.

Rondon was 0-1 with a 7.43 ERA in 13 1/3 innings over eight relief appearances for the Orioles. He allowed 14 runs (10 earned) in four innings over his final four appearances.

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