Roark agreed Monday with Atlanta on a minor-league contract, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Roark was able to quickly find a new landing spot after becoming a free agent last week when he refused a minor-league assignment to the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. The veteran right-hander will provide the Atlanta organization with another experienced starting option, but the 34-year-old's time as a capable mid- or back-end rotation arm could well be over. Dating back to the start of the 2019 season, Roark owns a 4.95 ERA (4.91 xFIP), 1.47 WHIP and 13.2 K-BB% over 220 innings.
Roark became a free agent Wednesday after clearing waivers. The veteran righty made two relief appearances after one bad, early-season start for Toronto. Roark, who has been average at best the past four seasons, is unlikely to be more than a spot starter or long reliever on a team in need of innings, that being if he even earns a roster spot elsewhere.
Roark was designated for assignment Friday The righty was expected to return Saturday from the Family Medical Emergency List. Roark made one uninspiring, early-season start before being moved to the bullpen and pitching better in two appearances.
Roark was placed on the Family Medical Emergency List on Friday. Players may spend between three and seven days on the list, meaning Roark should return sometime next week. Travis Bergen was recalled in a corresponding move.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Sunday that Roark will be moved to a long-relief role, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. Roark was denied his second start of the season when Sunday's game against the Angels was rained out, and he now looks like he'll be withheld from the rotation until further notice. After being roughed up for five runs in three innings in his first outing April 6 against the Rangers, Roark's grip on a starting job was already beginning to slip, so Sunday's game had shaped up as a critical one for the 34-year-old. Instead, Roark will have to impress in the opportunities he receives in long relief, as the impending return of Robbie Ray (elbow) from the injured list resulted in the veteran righty being bumped from the rotation. Ross Stripling and T.J. Zeuch will hold down the back-end starting roles for the time being, and Roark could be pushed further down the rotation pecking order when Nate Pearson (groin) makes his way back from the IL.
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