10:15am: Connolly tweets that the both Kline and Urena remain with the Orioles organization and neither has been released. We regret the inaccuracy.
8:50am: Right-hander Branden Kline and infielder Richard Urena were both among the Orioles’ wave of recent releases, according to J.J. Cooper and Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. The Athletic’s Dan Connolly previously reported that the Baltimore org had cut 37 low-level minor leaguers, but both Kline and Urena add two former big leaguers to the list of Baltimore cuts. Both had been removed from the 40-man roster back in February, however.
Kline, 28, appeared in 34 games for the O’s last season, tallying 41 innings of relief in his debut campaign at the Major League level. Things didn’t go particularly well, however, as Kline was clobbered for a 5.93 ERA (5.87 FIP) with averages of 7.5 strikeouts, 4.2 walks and 1.98 homers per nine innings pitched. The 2012 second-round pick’s work in Triple-A wasn’t any better. That said, Kline is a season removed from pitching to a combined 1.64 ERA in 65 2/3 innings between Class-A Advanced (20 2/3 innings) and Double-A (45 innings). He averaged 9.7 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 while recording 17 saves that year, although it should be pointed out that he was a fair bit older and more experienced than the average competition at those levels.
As for Urena, the 24-year-old had spent his entire career with the Blue Jays organization prior to being claimed off waivers by the Orioles back in January. Baltimore designated Urena for assignment in February upon claiming fellow infielder Andrew Velazquez, and the O’s were successful in passing Urena through waivers, thus keeping him in the organization without committing a 40-man roster spot to him.
Urena appeared in a combined 91 games with the Jays from 2017-19, appearing at shortstop, second base and third base (in addition to three innings in left field and one inning on the mound in a blow0ut game). But while Urena is a versatile defender, he’s yet to show much at the plate in the Majors or upper minors. He’s a career .253/.300/.336 hitter in 263 MLB plate appearances and a .250/.289/.373 hitter in 670 plate appearances with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.