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Orioles Add Six Players, Headlined By Top Prospect DL Hall, To 40-Man Roster Ahead Of Rule 5 Draft

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore Orioles added a group of six players, headlined by top prospect DL Hall, to the team's 40-man roster, protecting them from being selected by other clubs in the Rule 5 Draft.

Minor league pitchers Felix Bautista, Kyle Bradish, Logan Gillaspie and Kevin Smith, and infielder Terrin Vavra, were also added. Following the waiver claim of Lucius Fox on Friday, the Orioles' 40-man roster now has 39 players.

Lefty starter Hall, 23, is considered one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. In seven games with Double-A Bowie last season, he pitched to a 3.13 ERA and struck out 56 batters in 31 2/3 innings. He was shutdown in the summer with elbow issues in his throwing arm.

Two recent trade acquisitions, Bradish and Smith, also have experience starting.

Acquired in the 2019 deal that sent pitcher Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels, Bradish advanced to Triple-A Norfok in 2021 after pitching 13 2/3 scoreless innings with Double-A Bowie. In 21 games with the Tides, 19 of them starts, the 25-year-old had a 4.26 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings.

Smith, who came to the Orioles in the 2020 trade sending Miguel Castro to the New York Mets, also spent time at both Double-A and Triple-A. The 24-year-old was brilliant as a member of the Baysox, with a 1.04 ERA in six games, but struggled in Norfolk, tallying a 6.23 ERA in 16 games, 15 of them starts.

Bautista, 26, pitched at three levels in 2021, ending the year in Norfolk, where he had a 2.45 ERA in 17 relief appearances.

Gillaspie, 24, split time between Hi-A Frederick and Bowie, struggling once he reached Double-A ball.

Another trade acquisition, Vavra spent most of his season at Bowie, but injuries limited him to 58 games. In 40 games with the Baysox, the 24-year-old second baseman hit .248 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI.

Friday marks the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters or risk exposing players to the Rule 5 draft. Players who signed at age 18 or younger and have five years experience are eligible to be selected if they are not on a team's 40-man roster. Players who signed at age 19 or older and have four years experience are also eligible if they are not protected on a 40-man roster.

Any player selected in the major-league phase of the draft has to remain on his new team's 26-man roster for the duration of the season or be returned to his previous organization.

The draft is scheduled for Dec. 9. However, the possibility of a league-wide shutdown could delay it. Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Dec. 1, after which there could be a player strike or lockout if a new deal is not reached.

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