Baltimore Orioles Star To Have Tommy John Surgery; Out Until 2025

When he went down over a month ago with "some degree" of UCL injury, the Baltimore Orioles still felt that closer Felix Bautista could be back in time to help them in the 2023 playoffs. The team has now announced, however, that the menacing bullpen ace will be out until 2025 as he's set to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

But with every dark cloud comes a silver lining — the Orioles also announced that they've signed Bautista to a two-year extension, taking him through his comeback season in 2025. 

For GM Mike Elias, the new contract can only help in Bautista's recovery. 

“I think that’s great, because he can just concentrate on his rehab and getting back on the field. He won’t have any business to attend to in that time,” Elias said. “We did something similar with John Means, and very happy for Félix and for us that that’s out of the way.

"He should be back to being Félix Bautista in Spring Training 2025," continued Elias. "...but, obviously, we’re going to miss the hell out of the guy." 

Bautista was lock-down dominant this season as the Orioles closer, posting 33 saves and a ridiculous 1.48 ERA in 61 innings, with an equally silly 16.2 strikeouts per nine. He held batters to a .144 average and a .460 OPS. Just untouchable. 

In his stead, Yennier Cano has moved into the closer's role, and while he's claimed four saves since Bautista went down, it's come with a 4.76 ERA, after Cano had held a 0.00 ERA through the first month-and-a-half of the season. Clearly, the O's will move into the playoffs with a considerably weakened bullpen. 

 Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports