The Orioles announced today that they have claimed third baseman Rio Ruiz off waivers from the Braves. Ruiz becomes the first 40-man roster addition of new O’s GM Mike Elias.
Ruiz, 24, signed for well over the slot value after the Astros selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft — their first under Elias’s direction. After a few seasons with the Houston organization, Ruiz was sent on to Atlanta along with Mike Foltynewicz in the deal that delivered Evan Gattis to the ’Stros.
Over the years, Ruiz has at times shown hints of his long-valued talent, but hasn’t generally produced consistently at the plate and did not take advantage of a brief shot at the majors in 2017. He spent the bulk of the 2018 campaign at Triple-A, where he slashed .269/.322/.390 with nine home runs in 541 plate appearances.