The Baltimore Orioles have acquired starting pitcher Cole Irvin and right-hander Kyle Virbitsky in exchange for infielder Darell Hernaiz in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Hernaiz, the Orioles’ 16th-ranked prospect in 2022, heads to the Athletics, while Irvin, who was worth 2.1 Wins Above Replacement last year, and Virbitsky, a 17th round pick in the 2021 draft, head to Baltimore.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic had reported earlier this week that the Orioles “continued to explore trades for a starting pitcher.”
As it turns out, Baltimore found their guy, as Cole Irvin will be joining a young team that surprised many in the American League with 83 victories in 2022.
After pitching a career-high 178 1/3 innings in 2021, Irvin bested that mark in 2022, tossing 181 frames while recording a 3.98 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
Irvin, 28, exhibited great control in 2022, posting a miniscule 4.9 percent walk rate. The left-hander was projected to be the Athletics’ likely Opening Day starter.
He’ll join an Orioles rotation that already features John Means, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish and the newly signed Kyle Gibson.
It certainly remains to be seen how Cole Irvin will fare going from the more pitcher-friendly dimensions of RingCentral Coliseum to the more hitter friendly dimensions of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Of course, Irvin, who went 9-13 last year, will benefit from having a better team- and lineup- behind him.
That could result in some of the best numbers of his young big-league career.
That it took a prospect outside the Orioles’ top-15 to get him is a testament to Baltimore’s front office.