LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Thursday added to their bullpen, acquiring relief pitcher Ryan Webb along with minor league catcher Brian Ward from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for pitcher Ben Rowen and catcher Chris O`Brien, the team announced.
The Dodgers will also get the Orioles competitive balance draft pick, No. 74 overall. That pick, between the second and third rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft, has a slot value of $827,000, per Baseball America.
Webb, 29, was 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA and 2.95 FIP in 51 games for the Orioles in 2014, with 37 strikeouts and 12 walks in 49⅓ innings. In six years with the Padres, Marlins and Orioles the right-hander has a 3.38 ERA and 3.37 FIP in 317 career games, with 229 strikeouts and 109 walks in 325⅓ innings.
The Orioles designated Webb for assignment on Monday. He will earn $2.75 million this season. The Dodgers will be on the hook for roughly $2,689,891.
Both Rowen and O'Brien were on the preliminary roster for Double-A Tulsa to begin the year. The Dodgers just signed Rowen to a minor league contract on January 20, while O'Brien has been in the organization for four seasons after getting drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round in 2011.
Going to miss all my teammates and coaches built some great relationships that will last a long time!— Chris O'Brien (@Chris_OBrien22) April 9, 2015
Ward, 29, went to Marina High School in Newport Beach. He hit .227/.330/.286 in 65 games with Triple-A Norfolk in 2014. In six minor league seasons Ward has hit .237/.339/.318 with 15 home runs. He was slated to catch in Norfolk in the Orioles system, but it is unknown whether he will go to Triple-A Oklahoma City with the Dodgers or take O'Brien's spot in Double-A Tulsa.
Webb is famous among listeners of the Effectively Wild podcast from Baseball Prospectus, with his 87 career games finished in relief without a save, most all-time, dueling with Matt Albers. But given that the Dodgers have turned to two different pitchers to get saves in their first three games - Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta - might Webb notch a save before Kenley Jansen's return in May?
The Dodgers had one open spot on the 40-man roster for Webb, so that's now full. They will need to make a corresponding move to add him to the active roster, which means either sending a reliever down or choosing to go relief heavy and optioning Darwin Barney or another position player.
Webb is out of options, having used them in 2009, 2010 and 2014.