The Orioles announced this afternoon that veteran shortstop Alcides Escobar, who had been in camp as a non-roster invitee, has been granted his release. He’s now a free agent.
Escobar went 7-for-32 with a pair of doubles, four strikeouts and four walks in his brief time with the Orioles this spring before exercising an opt-out clause in his contract. He’ll now search for another club in need of some infield depth. With Escobar now out of the picture, both of Baltimore’s Rule 5 picks — Richie Martin and Drew Jackson — stand an increased chance of breaking camp with the team.
The 32-year-old Escobar has spent the past eight seasons with the Royals organization, generally providing Kansas City with quality defense and baserunning but significantly below-average offensive output. He’s a carer .258/.293/.343 hitter in 5702 Major League plate appearances, including a dismal .242/.275/.338 slash in 1160 PAs over the past two seasons. Given that lack of offense, Escobar isn’t likely to land another shot as a regular, but his speed-and-defense approach to the game could make him a useful bench piece — particularly if he is amenable to moving around the diamond a bit, as he did in his final season with the Royals.