On April 24, 2019, the Baltimore Orioles traded pitcher Mike Wright to the Seattle Mariners. It was mentioned last week that Wright fell in the “loser” column after the doubleheader on Saturday. Well, it did not take long for the Orioles to fix that situation. The 29-year-old was designated for assignment almost immediately after the second game Saturday and was subsequently traded four days later.
Mike Wright Traded
The Orioles traded Mike Wright to the Mariners for Ryne Ogren, both of whom played college ball in the state of North Carolina. Wright, a 2011 third-round draft pick out of East Carolina University, has been both a starter and reliever for the Orioles. He will provide much-needed depth to the Mariners bullpen. In return, the Orioles receive minor league shortstop Ryne Ogren. Ogren is a 22-year-old prospect whom the Mariners selected in the 12th round of the 2018 draft out of Elon University.
Mike Wright needed to go. It is as simple as that. With a 5.95 career ERA, Wright had fallen out of favor with Orioles Fans. Dan Clark was able to sum it up in one tweet.
MIKE WRIGHT IS HORRENDOUS.
CUT HIM LOOSE.
— DC (@DanClarkSports) April 21, 2019
After five seasons posting a 5.50+ ERA each year, Wright’s time in Baltimore is now over. With Wright just above the minimum salary on a one-year contract, this was a great move for the Orioles finding a way to get something in return for him. In his career, Wright has shown potential with his fastball topping out at 95 mph and mixing in a 92 mph sinker. He also has a change-up and a slider in the mid-80s and a curveball topping out around 78 mph.
One key thing to note looking at his velocities is that his fastball and sinker velocities are over one mile per hour lower than what it was in 2016, and it has been decreasing each year. In contrast, his change-up and slider velocity has increased almost seven miles per hour and five miles per hour, respectively.
Both Orioles and Mariners fans are hoping that a clean slate will help reset Wright and salvage the remainder of his career. With a new pitching coach on a new team, he may be able to get his velocities back to where he was in 2016 and become a viable reliever. Wright is arbitration eligible at the end of the season.
In return, the Orioles received Ogren. This return is a direct reflection of the system new GM Mike Elias is trying to implement in this rebuild. Ogren is a 22-year-old infielder who can man every infield position. Ogren has hit .229/.319/.343 in 68 minor league games with five home runs and 35 RBI. Overall, Ogren is a decent prospect, but he is not ranked in the Mariners top 30. He has been assigned to the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Orioles Single-A affiliate. Overall, it is too early to tell what kind of impact on the organization Ogren is going to have, but it should be interesting if his name makes headlines here in a year or two.
The Orioles did a great job breaking the cycle of sending Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk for a few months then calling him back up only to experience the same results. Not only did they move on, but they found a way to get a return for him. Getting a return in any capacity was a big win. This looks like it will be the first of many moves Elias makes to get this team back in contention.
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