With Smith Jr. removed from the 40-man roster, the team will have a week to either trade the 27-year-old or place him on outright waivers. Per Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com, O’s general manager Mike Elias is hopeful that Smith Jr. will remain in the organization following his DFA.
Although his 2020 season has not gone as hoped, Smith Jr. was a capable contributor for last year’s Orioles, batting .241/.297/.412 in his first shot at a regular role with an MLB team.
However, he’s fallen out of favor in Baltimore as he finds himself in an increasingly crowded outfield mix in need of a true center fielder after the injury to Austin Hays. Smith Jr. is limited to left field and has struggled defensively since coming to Baltimore.
Mason Williams will join the Orioles roster as an option to play center field occasionally, and is more suited for a role as a fourth outfielder than Smith Jr. due to his positional flexibility. He appeared with the Orioles briefly last year, though he spent the majority of the year with Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate. There, he hit .308/.371/.477 with 18 home runs, his most in a season since debuting in 2010.