The Oakland Athletics claimed right-handed pitcher Andrew Triggs off release waivers from the Baltimore Orioles, the club has announced. To clear space for Triggs on the 40-man roster, the A's placed Jarrod Parker on the 60-day disabled list with a broken right medial epicondyle.
Turning 27 on Wednesday, Triggs completed a Double-A season in 2015 with a 1.03 ERA, striking out 70 and walking just 11 in 43 appearances over 61 innings, earning 17 saves in 17 opportunities. Triggs was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 19th round of the 2012 draft. He was only added to Baltimore's 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, and has all of his option years remaining.
Triggs has a sidearm delivery that he describes as a "low three-quarters arm slot," writes MASN's Steve Melewski. On his repertoire, Melewski writes:
Triggs throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball, which touches the low 90s mph, sometimes a bit more. He had not thrown the four-seamer since high school, but brought it back this season to compliment his sinker. He also throws a cut fastball, slider and changeup.
In adding Triggs, the A's add to the right-handed bullpen depth chart that was hampered after Parker suffered that devastating re-injury to his right elbow. Triggs joins Ryan Dull, R.J. Alvarez, and J.B. Wendelken as right-handed relievers on the 40-man roster expected to start the year in Triple-A Nashville.
A transactions lesson
The Orioles had actually said Triggs was released from the Orioles a few days ago, though of course that's not really what happened. Ordinarily, the Orioles could have simply placed Triggs on outright waivers to try to transfer him to the minor leagues, but because he was only added to their 40-man roster this offseason, they're forced to release him if he were to clear waivers anyway. This is to prevent abuse of the 40-man roster to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. Thus, because the Orioles knew they were going to lose Triggs anyway, it's simpler to describe the transaction as a "release."
To release a player who is on a club's 40-man roster, you still have to waive that player and allow any club who wants to claim Triggs' contract to do so. Because Triggs is on the 40-man roster for the first time, his minimum salary in the minor leagues is only $41,400 instead of the $80,000-plus for players in their second year on the 40-man roster.
Rather than compete with all other clubs for Triggs' services, the A's elected to claim him. One reason could be that because Baltimore has their spring training in Florida, the A's would be at a disadvantage to Grapefruit League clubs on the open market because it's annoying and expensive to pack up in the middle of spring training to report to Arizona. The Orioles were hoping to re-sign Triggs on a minor league deal, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.
Because Triggs is now a member of the players union, he does get some moving expenses paid as a benefit from the collective bargaining agreement.