AUG. 29: The Orioles announced today that McFarland has been optioned to Triple-A, meaning he’s been placed on the 40-man roster once again. It’s a fairly rare procedure, but McFarland had to technically be designated for assignment in order to clear optional waivers. Players that have options remaining but made their big league debut more than three years ago must first clear optional waivers before going to a minor league affiliate.
MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko wrote this morning that McFarland would likely be placed on optional waivers, but Borbon’s DFA is a traditional one. The team is hoping he’ll clear waivers and accept an outright assignment.
AUG. 28: The Orioles have designated left-hander T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment, per a club announcement. They’ve also confirmed the signing of right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter and recalled fellow righty Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk.
McFarland still has minor league options remaining, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets, but that didn’t stop the Orioles from designating him. The 27-year-old has endured a season to forget, having logged a 6.93 ERA, 2.55 K/9 and 3.65 BB/9 in 24 2/3 innings despite a 60.2 percent ground-ball rate. From 2013-15, McFarland amassed 105 appearances and compiled a 3.89 ERA, 6.12 K/9, 3.06 BB/9 and 60.8 percent grounder rate across 173 2/3 frames.
Borbon, 30, has spent most of the year with Double-A Bowie and has racked up just 15 major league plate appearances as a result. Those were the first trips to the plate in the majors since 2013 for Borbon, who has mostly been at the Triple-A level over the past couple years. Borbon has hit .273/.318/.347 with eight home runs and 47 steals in 878 major league PAs.