The Orioles have acquired infield prospect Victor Gonzalez from the Mets as the player to be named later in the August trade that sent Miguel Castro to New York. The 17-year-old Gonzalez has been added to Baltimore’s 60-man player pool, while right-hander Chandler Shepherd was released to make room.
Gonzalez, hailing from the Dominican Republic, signed for a $250K bonus as a member of the Mets’ 2019-20 international signing class. With the 2020 minor league season canceled, Gonzalez has yet to officially begin his pro career, and he wasn’t part of the group working out at the Mets’ alternate training site. Baseball America’s Ben Badler described Gonzalez as having “a good chance to stay at shortstop” since he has “a quick first step, covers ground well and has a strong arm for the position.”
Shepherd joined the Orioles on a waiver claim in May 2019 and made his MLB debut last season, posting a 6.63 ERA over 19 innings for the O’s. The righty was outrighted off the 40-man roster after the season but remained in the organization, and was briefly called up to the Orioles’ roster this season but didn’t appear in a game before being designated for assignment in August.
Originally a 13th-round pick for the Red Sox in the 2014 draft, Shepherd has a 4.17 ERA, 3.44 K/BB rate, and 8.6 K/9 over 455 2/3 career minor league innings in the Boston and Baltimore organizations. Somewhat unusually, he began his pro career as a reliever before becoming mostly a full-time starter prior to the 2018 season. (Three of Shepherd’s five Major League games were starts.)