The Orioles have sent right-hander Asher Wojciechowski outright to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared waivers and released outfielder Mason Williams from their alternate training site in Bowie, per a club announcement. That Wojciechowski was outrighted to Norfolk and not to the alternate site indicates that he has been removed from the team’s player pool.
Barring a new minor league pact this winter, it seems likely that this will end Wojciechowski’s time with the Orioles. He’s been outrighted in the past and will be eligible to opt for free agency after the season. (Technically, he could do so immediately, although it’s hard to imagine him latching on with another club with such limited time remaining on the schedule.)
Baltimore picked Wojciechowski up from Cleveland in exchange for cash last summer, plugging the journeyman into a rotation vacancy that he he ultimately turned into a full-time spot for more than a year. He posted serviceable numbers in 2019, logging a 4.92 ERA with an 80-to-28 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 frames, and even tossed a 10-strikeout, 7 1/3-inning scoreless gem against the Red Sox in his best Baltimore outing. However, the 2020 campaign saw Wojciechowski limp to a 6.81 ERA and 6.67 FIP in 37 frames, and the O’s eventually moved on to younger options.
The 31-year-old Wojciechowski has spent parts of four seasons in the Majors, also appearing with the Astros and Reds, although that 2019 season in Baltimore was his best in the Majors. He has a solid Triple-A track record and plenty of experience at that level (635 innings), so he could serve as a depth option elsewhere in the league this winter or perhaps field interest from teams overseas.
As for the 29-year-old Williams, he appeared in 21 games with the O’s from 2019-20 but hit just .208/.250/.271 in 52 plate appearances. He was outrighted to the alternate site earlier this month. The former top prospect has never found his footing in the Majors. He did slash .293/.331/.398 in 132 plate appearances with the 2018 Reds, but that marked his career-high in plate appearances at the MLB level. He’s a .272/.309/.370 hitter in the big leagues and carries a .746 OPS through parts of five Triple-A seasons.