Dodgers Send Vidal Nuño to Orioles

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(Mandatory Credit: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Ryan Moseley from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno.

The Dodgers originally snagged Nuño in the deal that sent catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Seattle Mariners last November. To avoid arbitration, the lefty reliever recently agreed to a one-year, $1.125 million major league contract with the Dodgers for which the Orioles will now be responsible.

Nuño never threw a regular season pitch for Los Angeles.

Upon learning a few of Nuño’s vitals, and considering the club already had the likes of lefties Adam Liberatore, Grant Dayton and Luis Avilan competing for spots in the big league bullpen, many fans were left scratching their heads trying to figure out why the Dodgers’ front office crew would acquire another southpaw reliever, especially when the club’s depth is scarce at a few other positions in the lower levels of the minors.

Originally from National City, California, Nuño was ignored by the big scouts in high school after weighing in at less than 150 lb. at graduation. He ended up playing baseball at Baker University in Kansas where he hit the gym hard and began developing his vast pitching repertoire, ultimately being drafted by the Indians in the 48th round of the 2003 draft, tipping the scales at over 200 lb.

Nuño made his big league debut for the Yankees in 2013, filling a spot in the starting rotation when Ivan Nova went on the shelf after ripping a ligament in his elbow. The Yanks traded him to the Diamondbacks straight-up for Brandon McCarthy before the 2014 trade deadline, and was eventually sent to the Mariners as part of the Mark Trumbo deal in June of 2015.

Last season, the 29-year-old Nuño made a career-high 55 appearances for Seattle, primarily as a middle reliever. He threw 58-2/3 innings to the tune of a 3.53 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 11 walks. In 2015 he appeared in 32 games, 10 of which he started.

Moseley, 22, made his minor league debut last season with the Orioles’ Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds, going 0-1 with four saves and posting a 3.20 ERA over 19-2/3 frames in 12 relief appearances. He recorded a 1.12 WHIP and limited batters to a .191 average, including a .091 mark against lefty hitters. The Lubbock, TX, native was originally selected by the Orioles in the eighth round of the 2016 draft out of Texas Tech University.

Nuño’s spot on the 40-man roster will presumably go to Franklin Gutierrez.

(Dai Sugiura provided some information furnished in this report)

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