SAN DIEGO — The streak continues.

The Orioles added bullpen help through the Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday by selecting right-hander Andrew Politi with the No. 17 pick in the first round before passing in the second round. Politi, from the Boston Red Sox organization, held a 2.34 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

Politi was a 15th-round selection in the 2018 draft, and while the 6-foot hurler featured mainly as a starter in 2021, he transitioned to a relief role last season. Politi threw 69 1/3 innings and held opponents to 0.966 walks and hits per inning.

“We have a big-league ready arm,” said Mike Snyder, the Orioles’ director of pro scouting. “We’re thrilled to have him. He was our guy.”

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Baltimore has made use of the Rule 5 Draft every year for the better part of two decades, although those additions have infrequently turned into everyday big leaguers. The last time the Orioles didn’t select a player was 2005.

The position Baltimore finds itself in this offseason made the Rule 5 Draft a difficult one to predict. The Orioles were choosing No. 17 — far later than usual — and their roster construction has few obvious holes. Snyder said the Orioles’ list of players they were interested wasn’t limited to bullpen arms, but Politi was among their shortlist.

And now that he’s here, Politi has a chance to crack the major league roster out of the bullpen.

“He has some starting ability in the past,” Snyder said, “but we would see him day one stepping into a shorter relief role.”

According to Baseball America’s scouting report of Politi, the 26-year-old relies on a three-pitch mix, including a four-seam fastball in the mid-90s and a slider. His command in and around the zone is a plus, allowing just 2.9 walks per nine innings last season to go with 10.8 strikeouts per nine.

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“We like the pitch mix,” Snyder said.

The other 29 major league teams didn’t select any unprotected Orioles in the process. The Philadelphia Phillies, however, selected Navy graduate Noah Song. The right-hander was placed on the military list as he continues his active duty service with the Navy, the Phillies announced, and won’t count toward the club’s 40-man roster.

In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles selected 21-year-old right-hander Alfred Vega from the Yankees’ Complex League team. Then they added left-hander Trey McGough from the Pirates’ Double-A roster, a product from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. And in the third round of the minor league portion, Baltimore took catcher Randy Florentino, a catcher from the Texas Rangers.

The Orioles lost three players in the minor league portion. The first was right-hander Héctor Pérez to the Tampa Bay Rays. Infielder Jonathan Araúz, who played nine games for Baltimore last season, went to the New York Mets. And then the Philadelphia Phillies selected catcher Cody Roberts after he hit .271 between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

The Rule 5 Draft was canceled last year due to the MLB lockout, but each December teams can select from certain players not protected on another club’s 40-man roster. If a player signed at 18 years old or younger, he must be added to the 40-man roster within five seasons to avoid eligibility in the Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at 19 or older must be protected on the 40-man roster within four seasons.

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Once those players are taken, the new franchise must pay the old one $100,000, and the players will be added to the 26-man active major league roster. For that player to be removed from the active roster, they must be offered back to their original club for $50,000, after which he can be out-righted to the minor leagues if his original club declines to reacquire the player.

Many of the Orioles’ Rule 5 selections didn’t make a lasting impression in Baltimore. But a few did, such as outfielder Anthony Santander, who was taken with the 18th pick of the 2016 Rule 5 Draft and began on the injured list. Since then, he has established himself as one of the top switch-hitting power hitters in baseball, and he crushed 33 home runs in 2022.

In 2020, the Orioles found another hidden gem in right-hander Tyler Wells, who pitched to a 4.25 ERA in 103 2/3 innings last season and could be in line for a rotation spot again next year. Shortstop Richie Martin was a Rule 5 selection in 2018 and spent parts of three seasons in the majors with Baltimore before becoming a free agent this winter.