New additions delighted to join first-place Orioles
BALTIMORE — Surrounded by the two players he secured shortly before the non-waiver trade deadline,Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette flashed a proud smile.
Left-handed starter Wade Miley sat on Duquette's right side and Steve Pearce was on the left at an introductory news conference Tuesday.
The addition of Miley, a veteran left-handed starter, and Pearce, a solid utility man with long-ball power, just might be the difference in first-place Baltimore's bid to reach the postseason for the second time in three years.
Miley was obtained in a trade with Seattle and Pearce came from Tampa Bay.
"Our scouts have followed Wade for several years," Duquette said. "We tried to trade for him when he was in Arizona (from 2011-14). We tried to trade for him again when the Red Sox sent him to Seattle (last December). We didn't really match up. So now we have him. We think he's a good fit. If he can keep the ball on the ground, he's going to help stabilize our rotation."
The 33-year-old Pearce played with Baltimore in 2012 and from 2013 through last year.
"Steve helps us in a lot of different areas," Duquette said. "He can play the infield, he can pinch hit, he can play a couple different outfield positions and he's a terrific defensive first baseman."
Miley went 7-8 with a 4.98 ERA with the Mariners but was coming off a sound outing against the Chicago Cubs in which he allowed one run over seven innings. Now, the 29-year-old hopes to keep the momentum rolling with the Orioles.
"When I first found out, I was excited, to go from a third-place team to a first-place team overnight," Miley said. "There's nothing wrong with that. So hopefully I can just come in here and not screw that up."
Pearce left a Rays team that was 20 games under .500. He returns to a place where he's enjoyed some of his best seasons in the majors.
"We were struggling down there in Florida," Pearce said. "So to come from worst place to first place is definitely a better situation. I'm excited, especially with the group that's in there right now. I've been playing with those guys forever. So I'm ready to pick up where we left off and pave the way toward the playoffs."
Both players provide Baltimore with an instant fix, but Miley comes with a contract that extends through 2017 with a club option for 2018. That wasn't necessarily the motivation for Duquette to make the deal, but it sure didn't hurt.
"He's got all the qualities to help our club, and not just for this year, for next year," Duquette said.
Miley can't wait to get started. Manager Buck Showalter said it's likely the lefty will make his Baltimore debut on Thursday night against the Texas Rangers.
"I'm just going to go out when it's my turn to pitch and just try to give us a chance to win," he said. "That's kind of what I've done throughout my career. Just go out and compete."
Pearce will probably get his first start on Wednesday, Showalter said.
To make room for the newcomers on the roster, the Orioles optioned pitchers Tyler Wilson and Odrisamer Despaigne to Triple-A Norfolk.