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David Hess Elects Free Agency


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Marlins right-hander David Hess has rejected an outright assignment following his recent DFA and elected free agency, as first reported by Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Hess, 28, spent seven seasons in the Orioles organization after being selected in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He debuted with Baltimore in 2018 and was an up-and-down member of their staff over the next three seasons, pitching to a 5.86 ERA through 190 1/3 innings.

The Orioles removed Hess from the 40-man roster after those struggles, and he quickly signed with the Rays as a minor league free agent last winter. A strong minor league start with Tampa Bay’s top affiliate this season — 32 innings, 2.81 ERA, 28.9 percent strikeout rate, 3.9 percent walk rate — led the Marlins to acquire Hess in a trade that sent minor league righty Justin Sterner to the Rays. Hess was immediately selected to the MLB roster and started out well in Miami, pitching to a 3.94 ERA with a 15-to-8 K/BB ratio through his first 16 innings. However, Hess yielded seven runs in one inning during a disastrous outing at Coors Field and ultimately finished his time with the Marlins with an 8.00 ERA through 18 frames, owing largely to that rough evening in Colorado.

While Hess has yet to find consistent big league success, he has a solid track record in the upper minors, having pitched to a 3.55 ERA with a 26 percent strikeout rate and a similarly strong 7.3 percent walk rate. He’s worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent years, although he did make a four-inning appearance with Miami earlier this year. With a solid Triple-A track record and virtually every club on the hunt for pitching depth, Hess ought to find another opportunity on a minor league deal before too long.