Baltimore Orioles Rumors

Baltimore Orioles trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Orioles Designate Julio DePaula For Assignment

The Orioles have designated righty Julio DePaula for assignment, the club announced via press release. His active roster spot will go to the recently-activated Bud Norris.

DePaula, 31, did not make an appearance for Baltimore after being called up yesterday. He is still looking for his first MLB action since a 16-game, 8.55 ERA stint with the Twins back in 2007. Before joining the Orioles organization, DePaula had been playing internationally or in independent ball since a 2009 stint with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate.


Blue Jays Claim Nolan Reimold Off Waivers

The Blue Jays have claimed Nolan Reimold off waivers from the Orioles, according to Reimold’s cousin Seamus Doyle (on Twitter).  The O’s placed Reimold on waivers last week.

Baltimore was looking at trade options for the outfielder but were unable to find any.  Reimold has been hampered by multiple neck surgeries over the last few seasons but has posted a .902 OPS over 17 games on a Double-A rehab assignment.

The 30-year-old was once considered a top 100 prospect but has never been able to realize his potential due to health problems.  In parts of five big league campaigns, Reimold owns a .252/.327/.439 slash line.

There are now six players in DFA limbo, as shown in MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Orioles Designate Ramon Ramirez For Assignment

The Orioles announced that they have designated Ramon Ramirez for assignment.  The move will make space for Kevin Gausman on the roster.

Ramirez threw a grand total of one major league inning for the Orioles this season.  Over parts of nine big league seasons with the Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Giants, Mets, and Orioles, Ramirez owns a 3.42 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.

Ramirez becomes the second player to be designated for assignment today after the Yankees DFA’d Alfonso Soriano.  To keep up with everyone in DFA limbo, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.



Orioles Put Nolan Reimold On Waivers

FRIDAY, 1:55pm: The Orioles have put Reimold on waivers, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets.  Reimold will be outrighted to Triple-A if he clears waivers.

THURSDAY, 2:20pm: The O’s are still attempting to work out a trade with Reimold, a source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).  As of today, he has not been put on waivers.

TUESDAY: The Orioles have announced that Reimold has been activated and designated. If Reimold hits the waiver wire, a claiming team would be responsible for about $500K in salary for the rest of the year, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun notes on Twitter.

YESTERDAY, 6:00pm: Reimold has yet to be designated, tweets MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli. Executive VP Dan Duquette said that the club hopes to keep him in the organization without using that mechanism.

Reimold had been told earlier today that he would be designated, according to Kubatko (links to Twitter). Though he has completed his rehab assignment, Reimold is still on the DL, and the club does not have to make a move until Tuesday. A DFA could be in the works, says Kubatko, because the Orioles are not willing to clear a roster spot for Reimold.

2:46pm: The Orioles are set to designate Nolan Reimold for assignment, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter).

Today was decision day for the Orioles to either place Reimold on the major league roster or designate him for assignment.  Baltimore was thought to be looking at trade options for the outfielder but it appears that they have yet to find any.  Reimold has been hampered by multiple neck surgeries over the last few seasons but has posted a .902 OPS over 17 games on a Double-A rehab assignment.

The 30-year-old was once considered a top 100 prospect but has never been able to realize his potential due to health problems.  In parts of five big league campaigns, Reimold owns a .252/.327/.439 slash line.

Baltimore would like to keep Reimold in the organization, Kubatko tweets, but it will be tough to get him through waivers.  To keep up with the dizzying number of DFAs we’ve seen this afternoon, check out MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Orioles Return Michael Almanzar To Red Sox

TUESDAY: The Red Sox have announced that Baltimore has returned the former Rule 5 pick Almanzar to Boston.

MONDAY: The Orioles announced that they have reinstated Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar from the 60-day disabled list and designated him for assignment.  The corner infielder was plucked from the Red Sox back in December.

Almanzar, 23, saw just nine games of action in 2014 in the O’s farm system.  In the year prior for the Red Sox’s Double-A club, the 6’3″, 190 pound athlete slashed .268/.328/.432.

Almanzar is now one of six players in DFA limbo as shown in MLBTR’s DFA Tracker.


Astros’ Trade Discussion Notes Leaked

4:30pm: The Astros have issued the following statement regarding the leaked notes:

“Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros’ servers and in Astros’ applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI.  Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the determine the party, or parties, responsible.  This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

“It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information.  While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated.”

2:29pm: Extensive trade discussion notes, apparently logged by Astros executives about their talks with other teams, have been leaked onto the site AnonBin here and here, with Deadspin breaking the story and Yahoo’s Jeff Passan verifying the authenticity of the logs.  The earliest notes are from June 2013, and the latest are from March of this year.  The Astros have yet to comment on the leak, which provides unprecedented detail into how the team values players and approaches trade discussions.  According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Astros have been reaching out to people around baseball apologizing for the leaks, and plan to issue a statement soon.

A March feature by Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle outlines Ground Control, the Astros’ confidential internal database from which the trade discussion notes were likely taken.  At this time, it’s unclear whether the information reached the Internet via a rogue employee of the team, or by some kind of security vulnerability in Ground Control.  The trade discussion information, mostly from last summer and offseason, is somewhat dated in the fast-moving baseball hot stove world.  The larger ramification is the breach of trust experienced by the many non-Astros executives cited in the notes.  It’s unlikely any team would rule out the Astros as a trading partner based on this breach, but some teams could approach talks with added caution.  Additionally, I imagine the many other teams with such highly sensitive material online are doubling down on security right now.

The Astros’ trade notes from last summer and offseason range from the blockbuster to the mundane; here are some highlights.

  • On November 15th, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow expressed interest with Marlins GM Dan Jennings in slugger Giancarlo Stanton.  From the notes: “[Jennings] said he doesn’t think he’ll trade Stanton and the only deal he could think of from us that would work would be [George] Springer and [Carlos] Correa. [Luhnow] said that would not work. [Luhnow] posited a deal around [Jarred] Cosart and [Delino] DeShields.”  It’s not a big surprise that Luhnow rejected Jennings’ proposal out of hand, as Correa and Springer were ranked #4 and #19 on Keith Law’s top 100 prospects list for ESPN, and are major building blocks for Houston.  That Luhnow didn’t appear to offer either player suggests he was mostly gauging Stanton’s price after an off-year with three years of control remaining.  UPDATE: Jennings has commented to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, saying it’s fabricated that they ever offered Stanton to the Astros or any other team, also using the word “laughable.”
  • Interest in Astros catcher Jason Castro was strong last offseason, with a few surprising suitors.  The Blue Jays and Rangers reached out in mid-October to gauge Castro’s price, the White Sox had “definite high interest,” and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told Luhnow in November that he was getting calls from other teams asking if he could get Castro from the Astros for those teams.  Zduriencik offered Dustin Ackley and was turned down.
  • Notes for the Astros’ summer trade discussions begin at June 17th, 2013.  The team ultimately went on to acquire Ronald Torreyes from the Cubs in June, and also dealt veterans Jose Veras, Bud Norris, and Justin Maxwell near the July deadline.  The Astros did not end up acquiring any top 100-type prospects, but they sure did ask for the moon.  For Norris, the Astros sought Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn from the Giants, Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman from the Orioles, Marcus Stroman and more from the Blue Jays, Xander Bogaerts, Allen Webster, Jackie Bradley Jr., or Garin Cecchini from the Red Sox, and Tyler Glasnow plus Luis Heredia or Nick Kingham from the Pirates.  The Red Sox offered Ryan Lavarnway or Deven Marrero for Norris and were turned down.  In the end, the Astros traded Norris and an international draft slot to the Orioles for L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader, and a 2014 competitive balance pick.
  • When Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called to express interest in middling Astros starting pitcher Lucas Harrell, who had a 5.17 ERA at the time and nearly as many walks as strikeouts, “[Luhnow] told him we would still need a headliner like [Lucas] Giolito because we still value Harrell highly. Rizzo did not respond immediately.”
    Harrell was designated for assignment, outrighted, and traded for a pittance nine months later, so the Astros might have overplayed their hand.
  • “Untouchable” players from other teams were revealed through conversations with their executives.  White Sox GM Rick Hahn wouldn’t consider trading Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu, or Avisail Garcia.  Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos considered Brett Lawrie off-limits.  Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco came up as well, in that GM Neal Huntington wouldn’t include him in any Norris deal.  In December talks regarding Harrell, the Giants said they would not discuss Brandon Belt.
  • More random notes: Mets executive Paul DePodesta asked Luhnow if the Astros would consider trading shortstop Jonathan Villar in a Daniel Murphy deal in December…the Marlins expressed interest in Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez, and others in December.

AL East Links: Machado, Reimold, Lester, Jays

Manny Machado‘s five-game suspension has been upheld by the league, the Orioles announced today, and the third baseman will begin serving his suspension tonight.  Machado had been appealing the ruling, which stemmed from a June 8th incident that saw him throw his bat towards third base in a game against the Athletics.

Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • The Orioles are thought to be looking at trade options for Nolan Reimold, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports.  The O’s must decide by today what they will do with Reimold, as they would otherwise have to designate the outfielder for assignment unless he is placed on the Major League roster.  Reimold has been hampered by multiple neck surgeries over the last few seasons but has posted a .902 OPS over 17 games on a Double-A rehab assignment.
  • Jon Lester told reporters (including WEEI.com’s Alex Speier) that there haven’t been any new negotiations between his representatives and the Red Sox, and there won’t be any extension talks during the season since Lester considers them a distraction.  “Like I said from the beginning of the season, everything is amicable. Conversations continue. But nothing as far as contract or numbers or anything like that,” Lester said.  The southpaw also noted that his preference to wait until after the season to negotiate doesn’t mean he is any less set on remaining in Boston.
  • Also from Speier, Mookie Betts and Brock Holt are both similar to Dustin Pedroia in both makeup and physical stature, a sign of how the Red Sox are focusing more on ability than body type in developing their prospects.
  • One AL scout would “without hesitation” trade the prospect package of Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez and Dalton Pompey for David Price if the Blue Jays received such a demand from the Rays, the scout tells Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.  This may not be enough for the Jays to outbid others for Price, however, given the number of teams interested and how Tampa is rumored to want a premium if they were to trade Price within the division.  Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is said to be refusing to move all of Norris/Sanchez/Pompey in a deal for anyone, including Price, Jeff Samardzjia or another pitcher.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman is “looking to make some additions if I can,” he told reporters, including Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times. “I’d like to try to do a few things before those guys [C.C. Sabathia, Michael Pineda] get back, if possible. But I’ve already been trying. There’s a reason we haven’t done anything; it’s not because of a lack of phone calls. We’ll see.”  The Yankees are known to be looking for starting pitching to help their rotation depth.

Draft Signings: Graves, Laxer, Schuh

Here are today’s notable amateur draft signings, with all slot information provided by Baseball America

  • The Athletics have signed third-rounder Brett Graves, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reports (via Twitter).  Graves signed for a $510K bonus, giving the A’s a slight discount on the $519.2K slot price attached to the 101st overall selection.  Graves is a 6’1″, 173-pound right-hander from the University of Missouri.  He was ranked as the 59th-best draft prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law, 61st by Baseball America and 80th by MLB.com.  The BA scouting report noted that Graves “appeared to be losing steam as the college season wound down,” which could explain why he was still available after the first 100 picks.
  • The Tigers have signed ninth-round pick Josh Laxer, according to the MLB.com transactions page.  Laxer signed for the $143.9K bonus price assigned to the 280th overall pick, MLB.com’s Jim Callis reports (Twitter link).  Laxer, a right-handed reliever from Ole Miss, has a fastball that can touch 96mph at best, though Baseball America’s scouting report noted that he’ll have to work heavily on his command.
  • The Orioles announced the signing of left-hander Max Schuh, their seventh-round draft choice.  No terms were announced, though the slot value for the 211th overall pick is $179.9K.  Schuh is a 6’4″, 210-pound southpaw out of UCLA.  Baseball America’s scouting report projects Schuh as a reliever since he only has a two-pitch repertoire, though both his pitches (a fastball and slurve) were considered to be very good, and Schuh could add velocity to his 86-91mph heater.

AL Notes: Jays, Orioles, Twins, Red Sox

The Blue Jays need to do some navel-gazing heading into trade season, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. The rotation leads the AL with 35 wins, but other stats like ERA and total bases allowed stack up less promisingly. Veteran Mark Buerhle has provided a timely career season, while other members of the rotation have been solid but volatile. Improvements to the rotation may rank at the top of the Jays’ trade deadline wish list.

  • In the same piece, Davidi speaks with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos. He acknowledges there will be inconsistency with the rotation and points to health as something that is particularly difficult to predict. He also reiterated his preference for in-season trades since it’s easier to gauge which teams and players are performing well.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette recently addressed fans at the “State of the Orioles” address, reports MASNsports.com Steve Melewski. One of the topics discussed was Nolan Reimold‘s role with the club. He’s currently hitting .326/.433/.522 at Double-A. Said Duquette “we’ll have to see if he can help our ballclub.” The Orioles must add Reimold to the active roster by Monday or else designate him for assignment. Given his current performance, it’s likely they will lose him if he’s placed on waivers.
  • Despite rumors that the Yankees plan to spend upwards of $30 million in the international market, the Twins intend to participate aggressively, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. According to Twins GM Terry Ryan, “we aren’t going to lie low.” He also expressed skepticism about the rumors of other teams blowing past their budget, saying “Once you start paying some of that tax, all of a sudden other people get involved.”
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington spoke with reporters about the club’s direction, reports MassLive.com’s Jason Mastrodonato. Cherington highlights the team’s talent base as a reason to stay positive for the current season. While he wasn’t “sugarcoating” their 7.5 game deficit in the AL East, he didn’t rule out a trade deadline addition. It’s widely speculated that the Sox will deal from their depth of starting pitchers.

Minor Moves: DePaula, Exposito, Snyder, Smith

Here are the day’s minor moves…

  • Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the Orioles have signed right-hander Julio DePaula to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Bowie (Twitter link). The 31-year-old hasn’t appeared in the bigs since a 2007 stint with the Twins. He’s bounced around since that time, appearing at Triple-A, pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization and also pitching in independent ball. This season, he had a 2.48 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 29 innings with the Atlantic League’s York Revolution.
  • The Athletics have signed catcher Luis Exposito to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento, tweets Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com. Exposito, 27, spent time with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season, hitting .177/.252/.313 with three homers in 107 PA. The longtime Red Sox farmhand is a career .260/.317/.408 hitter in the minors and appeared briefly in the Major Leagues with the Orioles in 2011.
  • After being designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday, outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder has cleared waivers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old is still deciding whether or not to accept his assignment or instead become a free agent.
  • The Padres have signed righty Chris Smith away from the indy league Sugar Land Skeeters, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). Smith, 33, threw 67 2/3 MLB innings between 2008-09, and last played in the minors in 2011. But he has tossed 50 1/3 frames of 2.13 ERA ball for the Skeeters, with 9.8 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.