The Orioles announced Wednesday that they’ve released right-hander Nate Karns and outrighted infielder Jose Rondon to Triple-A Norfolk. Both players cleared waivers; Karns, however, has the requisite service time to elect free agency.
Karns will head back to free agency after missing the bulk of the 2019 season due to forearm issues. He’d made it back to the mound prior to his DFA, pitching in three rehab appearances between July 12 and July 23. The 31-year-old Karns tossed 5 1/3 innings with the O’s and yielded only one unearned run early in the season, but he was tagged for 10 runs in 10 1/3 innings of work across two rehab stints this season (the first of which was halted after a late-April setback). Injuries, most notably thoracic outlet surgery, have largely wiped out the past four seasons for Karns, making 2015’s 147 innings of 3.67 ERA ball for the Rays feel like a distant memory.
Rondon, 25, received just one plate appearance with the O’s after being claimed off waivers out of the White Sox organization. He’d previously batted .197/.265/.282 in Chicago before being designated for assignment. Rondon is a versatile infield defender but hasn’t received strong grades for his small sample of innings at shortstop. He’s a lifetime .264/.300/.463 in 508 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.