The latest from Baltimore….
- Fredi Gonzalez has been hired to join the Orioles’ coaching staff, the Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli reports. Gonzalez will work in the general role of Major League coach; as Meoli puts it, “González will influence several areas of the Orioles while sharing some responsibilities with major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins, who did those jobs last year while serving as [Brandon] Hyde’s de-facto bench coach.” Best known for his time as the manager of the Marlins (2007-10) and Braves (2011-16), Gonzalez spent the last three seasons back in Miami as the Marlins’ third base coach.
- The Orioles have “definite interest” in Adeiny Hechavarria, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. The veteran hit .241/.299/.443 over 221 combined plate appearances between the Mets and Braves in 2019, with the bulk of that offense (1.039 OPS over 70 PA) coming after Atlanta signed Hechavarria as extra depth during the late-season stretch run. Of course, Hechavarria is far better known for his glovework than his bat, with +20 Defensive Runs Saved and a + 2.5 UZR/150 over 6761 career innings at shortstop. The 30-year-old was available on a minor league contract for the Mets last winter, and could likely be signed for a similar non-guaranteed deal this offseason.
- Hechavarria would help address Baltimore’s middle infield situation, which GM Mike Elias described (along with back-of-the-rotation pitching) as offseason “priorities” when talking to reporters earlier this week. Since the rebuilding O’s aren’t going to break the bank for veteran help, Kubatko lists a few lower-cost veterans that might potentially fit what the team is looking for, though he notes that even moderately-priced options like free agent Brock Holt or the recently non-tendered Yolmer Sanchez could be too pricey for the Orioles. Jose Iglesias doesn’t appear to be on the Orioles’ radar, as Kubatko writes that “a poor off-the-field reputation…persuaded the Orioles and some other teams to stay away” from the former Reds and Tigers shortstop in the past. The O’s did make an infield signing earlier today by adding Dilson Herrera on a minors contract.