Pitcher Brooks headed to Korea

November 14th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles’ 40-man roster continued its offseason reshaping late Monday night, when reports began trickling out of Asia that one more spot would soon be cleared. Right-hander confirmed the news via Twitter on Thursday, writing that he will pitch for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Brooks, 29, made 14 appearances (12 starts) for the Orioles after arriving on a waiver claim from the A’s in July. He went 4-5 with a 6.18 ERA, including 3-5 with a 7.11 ERA as a starter before a late-season demotion to the ‘pen. Brooks’ best effort of the season came in relief, when he twirled seven innings of one-hit ball behind opener Richard Bleier to beat the Mariners on Sept. 20.

A former ninth-round pick of Kansas City in 2011, Brooks is 9-13 with a career 6.49 ERA across parts of four seasons in the Majors, spent with the Royals, A’s and Orioles.

The Kia Tigers’ roster also includes former big leaguers , and . The last Oriole to transition successfully to the KBO was righty , who has enjoyed two excellent seasons for the LG Twins since leaving the States after the 2017 campaign.

The arrangement to add Brooks appears to benefit both sides. Brooks, who was out of Minor League options and was not guaranteed a roster spot, would likely get a raise on the six-figure pre-arbitration salary he would’ve earned in the Majors in 2020. The Orioles get the benefit of a 40-man roster spot at the cost of a pitcher who profiled more as a depth option after a shaky year.

Baltimore’s roster sits at 35. General manager and executive vice president Mike Elias said last week that he plans to protect “four or five” prospects from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them by the Nov. 20 deadline. One will surely be No. 11 prospect Keegan Akin, who Brooks was expected to battle for a back-end rotation spot next spring.