Orioles give Banks a tryout
In a continuing effort to beef up their pitching staff, the Orioles signed right-handed journeyman Josh Banks to a Minor League deal on Tuesday.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette met briefly with Banks’ agent, former player Gary Sheffield at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex and Banks departed for the team’s Minor League facility at Twin Lakes Park shortly after to throw in front of director of player personnel John Stockstill and a handful of other team officials.
“He’s a local kid,” Duquette said of Banks, who is from Severna Park, Md. “He went and pitched effectively in winter ball and showed that he was healthy.”
The 29-year-old Banks is coming off a stint in the Dominican League Winter League, and given the Orioles current pitching situation –they have 29 arms in camp and are trying to foster competition and depth – Duquette said Sheffield reached out to him because he “saw an opportunity” with Baltimore.
Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, Banks had the most success with the San Diego Padres in 2008, putting together a stretch of 22 consecutive scoreless innings. He has bounced around in the Minors the last two seasons, most recently with the San Francisco Giants –who released him during the season – and is a career 4-8 with a 5.66 Major League ERA.
Sheffield, who was originally signed by Duquette as a scout for the Brewers, represents a handful of players, including pitcher Jason Grilli, and said Banks is the final player of his to sign.