The Orioles opened the 2020 virtual Winter Meetings with a move to bolster their pitching depth, claiming right-hander Ashton Goudeau off waivers from the Pirates. Baltimore outrighted catcher Austin Wynns to Triple-A Norfolk in a corresponding move that leaves them with two open 40-man roster spots ahead of Friday’s Rule 5 Draft.
Goudeau, 28, pitched to a 7.56 ERA in four relief appearances as a rookie for the Rockies in 2020. A 27th-round Draft pick of the Royals in '12, he spent the previous eight seasons in the Minors with the Royals, Mariners and Rockies. As recently as '19, he posted a 2.07 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings at Double-A Hartford. He is a 6-foot-6 swingman known for his plus curveball.
The Pirates claimed Goudeau off waivers on Nov. 25. If he survives the O's expected 40-man roster churn this winter, Goudeau could profile as depth in multi-inning relief or as a starter at Norfolk for the Orioles, who have lost Wade LeBlanc, swingmen Thomas Eshelman, Asher Wojciechowski, and David Hess and reliever Branden Kline to free agency so far this offseason.
The Orioles have also announced the separate Minor League signing of right-hander Connor Greene, a former Blue Jays and Cardinals prospect who spent 2019-20 in the Royals' system. Greene, 25, is a hard-throwing reliever who reached Triple-A Omaha with Kansas City in '19, but has struggled with walks during his Minors career. He was previously involved in the '18 trade between the Cards and Blue Jays that sent Randal Grichuk to Toronto.
The Orioles kept Wynns, who turns 30 on Thursday, on the 40-man roster as catching depth in 2020 but did not summon him during their 60-game season. Wynns last appeared in the Majors in '19; he hit .239 with five homers and a .610 OPS in 70 games from 2018-19 in a backup capacity.