- The Orioles face a tough call on lefty Brian Matusz, writes Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com. He’s been hit hard after missing time early due to injury, giving up a lethal combination of free passes and home runs, though he says he’s healthy now. Connolly ticks through the options, which include simply placing Matusz on outright waivers. His $3.9MM salary is sure to clear, but the 29-year-old could keep his guarantee and reject an assignment. But unless a DL opportunity presents itself, Baltimore will otherwise be resigned to giving him a chance to pitch through his difficulties.
1:10pm: The Blue Jays and Orioles have both announced the claim. In a full column on the move, Kubatko offers the following quote from Duquette about Toronto’s claim of Paredes:
“The O’s tried but we just didn’t find a fit for Jimmy Paredes on this year’s team when it was time for him to be reinstated. Jimmy worked hard with us and we appreciate his contributions over the past two seasons.”
12:21pm: The Blue Jays have claimed infielder/designated hitter Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Orioles, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). Baltimore placed Paredes on waivers over the weekend.
Paredes, 27, had a big first half for the O’s in 2015, batting .299/.332/.475 with 10 homers in 277 plate appearances. However, he was unable to maintain that production in the second half as his slash line dipped to .216/.252./265 in 107 plate appearances. This season, Paredes has yet to appear in a Major League game, as sprained left wrist caused him to open the season on the disabled list. Paredes batted a combined .309/.377/.471 across three minor league levels on a rehab assignment (77 plate appearances, 19 games), but the Orioles’ offseason additions left him without a clear spot on the roster.
While Paredes has played second base and third base extensively in the minors, the Orioles were skeptical enough of his defense to limit him to just 72 2/3 innings in the field last season. Even as Jonathan Schoop missed time due to injuries last season, Baltimore’s preference was to move first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce to second base with Paredes DHing, despite the fact that Pearce had never played the position in the Majors or minors. The offseason addition of Pedro Alvarez gives the O’s another option that the club considers to be more or less a strict DH, thus leaving the team without an easy of way of carrying Paredes.
The Blue Jays currently have a bench consisting of backup catcher Josh Thole, fourth outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, backup shortstop/second baseman Darwin Barney and corner infielder Andy Burns. Given the defensive capabilities of Thole, Carrera and Barney, it would seem that Paredes’ best fit on the roster would be to supplant Burns for the fourth bench spot.
- The Orioles haven’t begun contract talks with free agent-to-be Mark Trumbo, but that may change if the 30-year-old outfielder continues his torrid pace. Trumbo, whom the Orioles acquired from Seattle for a pittance in the offseason, has hit a tremendous .314/.365/.606 with 11 home runs in 148 plate appearances this year and is putting himself in position to earn an appreciable raise over his 2016 salary of $9.15MM.
The Orioles have placed infielder/designated hitter Jimmy Paredes on waivers, reports Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic (Twitter link). Because Paredes has been outrighted in the past, he could refuse a minor league assignment and become a free agent, notes Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
Baltimore had to make a decision on the out-of-options Paredes, whose Triple-A rehab assignment was set to end today. The 27-year-old had been working his way back from a wrist injury since beginning the season on the disabled list. While Paredes logged extensive time at the plate in 2015, slashing .275/.310/.416 with 10 home runs in 384 trips, the Orioles’ lack of trust in his defense limited him to just 72 2/3 innings over a career-high 104 games. Given his defensive issues and Pedro Alvarez’s presence as their DH, Paredes no longer had a place on the Orioles’ roster.
Paredes, a career .257/.293/.369 hitter in 845 major league PAs, is owed a $520K salary this season and has three years of arbitration eligibility remaining.
- Orioles righty Yovani Gallardo is set to begin throwing again tomorrow, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports on Twitter. It’s been a three-week gap since he last picked up a baseball, and Gallardo is only expected to engage in a light toss. His timeline to return to action from a shoulder injury remains uncertain, with at least a couple rehab outings seemingly in his future even if things go well.
Fielding questions about the Orioles’ interest in Tim Lincecum, executive VP Dan Duquette downplayed that likelihood and provided some hints as to the market’s development, as Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. In Duquette’s view, Lincecum is likely to sign with a west coast club and is likely to get a shot at a rotation. “He’s going to sign with a club that needs a starter,” said the O’s top baseball decisionmaker. “That’s what he wants to do, and I’m confident he’s going to get that opportunity.”
Orioles righty Yovani Gallardo will have a “light catch” over the weekend, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports on Twitter. Gallardo hit the DL on April 23rd but is only now apparently set to test out his bothersome shoulder. Even if he’s able to begin progressing back toward the mound, his timetable remains uncertain. And beyond that, Gallardo still will face questions about his ability to remain effective while exhibiting a rather significant velocity decline that apparently preceded his injury.
Here are a few more notes from the American League:
- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus acknowledges that he is “in the crosshairs” with his team struggling, writes MLive.com’s Aaron McMann. “I knew when I took this job, I was probably going to get fired before I walked away from it,” said Ausmus. “Not this job in particular, but just managing in general. How many managers walk away from a job?” The Tigers are off to a fairly disappointing 14-16 start and suffered through a disastrous bullpen meltdown on Sunday, when Mark Lowe and Justin Wilson combined to serve up seven runs in the eighth inning. Ausmus said he hasn’t heard anything either way from owner Mike Ilitch or GM Al Avila in terms of his job security.
- Rich Hill has been one of the best stories in the league this season with the A’s, but the Red Sox made an effort to keep around following his September renaissance last season, according to WEEI.com’s John Tomase. Boston offered Hill a one-year, Major League deal on the heels of his four brilliant starts down the stretch, but the money didn’t match up to Oakland’s $6MM, per Tomase’s sources. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wouldn’t get into any specific details, unsurprisingly, but he did acknowledge that his team made Hill what it felt to be a competitive offer. “We gave him what we felt was a solid offer,” said Dombrowski. “They did better. It’s always easier in hindsight. It’s a situation where we did like him enough to offer him a nice deal, we thought. Oakland really stepped up, and you tip your cap.”
- The Orioles announced today that right-hander Scott McGough has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Norfolk. Baltimore designated the 26-year-old, who was claimed off waivers from the Marlins earlier this year, for assignment last week. McGough made his big league debut in Miami last season but allowed seven runs in 6 2/3 innings. He’s been roughed up for a dozen runs in 8 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season but had an excellent 2015 campaign, posting a 1.93 ERA in 37 1/3 innings across three minor league level.
The Orioles have announced that they’ve designated righty Scott McGough for assignment. The move clears space for infielder Paul Janish, who the Orioles have added to their roster to provide Manny Machado with a bit of shortstop help for their doubleheader against the Athletics today. The O’s also optioned lefty T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles claimed McGough from the Marlins last month, then sent him to Norfolk, where he struggled in six appearances. For the season, McGough has allowed 12 runs and six walks while striking out seven over 8 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old made six relief appearances for the Marlins last season.