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Orioles sign right-hander Josh Lucas to minor league deal

Orioles sign right-hander Josh Lucas to minor league deal
Mike Elias, named the Orioles executive vice president and general manager, smiles during a press conference at Camden Yards on Monday. Elias, a native of Alexandria, Va., was previously the assistant general manager with the Houston Astros. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

The Orioles added right-hander Josh Lucas on a minor league contract for 2019, the team announced, possibly adding another piece to a bullpen full of players trying to establish themselves in the big leagues.

Lucas, 28, spent 2018 with the Oakland Athletics, primarily at their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville. For the Sounds, he had a 2.56 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP in 38 2/3 innings, though he allowed 10 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings at the major league level.

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His major league debut came in 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals, who drafted him in the 21st round in 2010, back when new Orioles general manager Mike Elias and assistant general manager Sig Mejdal were heavily involved in the Cardinals’ drafts.

Lucas had a 3.68 ERA in five appearances for the Cardinals in 2017, and comes to the Orioles with a 3.29 career minor league ERA with a 1.23 WHIP and 8.12 strikeouts per nine innings. According to BrooksBaseball.net, Lucas’ fastball averaged 92 mph last year, complemented by a mid-80s slider that gets ground balls.

Since Elias became the Orioles general manager earlier this month, the team also re-signed infielder Jace Peterson to a minor league deal while adding infielders Chris Bostic and Zach Vincej, plus pitcher Jeffeson Medina, on minor league contracts.

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