The Orioles added two minor league right-handers to their 40-man roster Thursday to make sure they couldn't be selected in next month's Rule 5 draft.
Mike Wright, who will be 25 in January, and Tyler Wilson, 25, are the two most recent winners of the Jim Palmer Prize as the organization's top minor league pitcher. Wright, the Orioles' third-round pick in 2011, won the award in 2013 and Wilson won it this past season.
The additions give the Orioles 37 players on their 40-man roster. Neither was a surprise. There were, however, several minor leaguers who appeared to be on the bubble, including catcher Brian Ward and pitchers Parker Bridwell and Mychal Givens.
Those players now can be selected by any team for $50,000 in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft Dec. 11 at the annual winter meetings in San Diego. If a selected Rule 5 draftee does not stay with the selecting major league team all season, however, he must be offered back to the Orioles at half the purchase price.
The Orioles felt Wright and Wilson potentially could stay on another major league roster all next season, so they didn't take a chance with either one. Wright struggled for much of 2014, going 5-11 with a 4.61 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk. But he had a 0.95 ERA with 37 strikeouts and eight walks over his last seven regular-season starts. In 2013, he was 11-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 27 starts between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk.
Wilson was 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA between Bowie and Norfolk. A 10th-round pick in 2011, he enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, recording 17 quality starts in 28 outings.
Over a nine-start stretch in June, Wilson went 7-0 with a 2.36 ERA at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. He also posted a 3.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio, recording 157 strikeouts and 43 walks over 166 2/3 innings in 2014.