Catcher Spencer Kieboom elected to become a free agent after the Nationals outrighted him off their roster in October 2019, and Kieboom tells Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post that he decided last winter to retire after eight seasons of pro ball. Kieboom’s MLB resume consisted of a single game in 2016 and then 52 games with the Nats in 2018, though knowing that he was becoming an afterthought on the team’s organizational depth chart left him “beyond frustrated.” After twice being called up in 2019 but not appearing in any games, Kieboom decided it was enough. “From a self-evaluation standpoint, I knew I couldn’t reach my goal anymore. I wouldn’t have stopped if I had more in the tank. I just didn’t,” Kieboom said.
The next step in his newfound retirement was returning to Clemson to finish a marketing degree, and Kieboom is now working on starting his own business and also spending time with a growing family that includes a newborn. We at MLBTR congratulate Kieboom on his career and wish him all the best in his post-playing endeavors.
More from the Nationals and Orioles…
- Nationals righty Joe Ross is looking forward to returning to pitching after opting out of the 2020 season, a decision he recently discussed with the media (including MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman). “With the medical professionals in my family – both my parents, my sister, some close family friends – it just kind of made sense to take this as serious as you could,” Ross said. “There were a lot of unanswered questions going into it. Not that we know everything now, but the initial shock value of what was happening added up with a few other things, and I decided to take time away, which is always hard to do.” Now that MLB has had more time to implement and adjust COVID-19 protocols, Ross is “pretty confident going into this year that everyone will have a pre-solidified plan on how to” keep players and personnel safe. Ross’ decision to opt out cost him a year of service time and the entire prorated share of his original $1.5MM salary, and he’ll now return to Washington’s roster competing for a starting rotation spot.
- The Orioles non-tendered Hanser Alberto on Wednesday, though GM Mike Elias told reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) that the move was made largely due to “the quirks of the arbitration system” and that the O’s will “continue to have interest in pursuing” on a new contract. “I think that the interest is mutual, but it’s now his right to explore opportunities and we’re going to have to compete for him. But he’s somebody that’s meant a lot to this team and we hope we’re not closing the door on him,” Elias said. Alberto was projected for a salary in the $2.6MM range in his first trip through the arbitration process, coming off of two decent seasons as a regular starter (mostly at second base) in Baltimore’s infield.
- Without a 2020 minor league season, trading for prospects is an even riskier proposition than usual considering the lack of fresh scouting information about most young players. However, the Orioles’ recent acquisition of right-hander Garrett Stallings from the Angels (as part of the return in the Jose Iglesias trade) was aided by the team’s past interest in Stallings as a potential 2019 draft pick, as Elias told The Baltimore Sun’s Nathan Ruiz and other reporters. Since the O’s had already scouted Stallings during his time at the University of Tennessee, the team had that background as a comparison point when they saw Stallings finally get back onto a mound in the Angels’ instructional camp this fall. “We knew what he was in 2019, and then to see those performances a month ago, see the stuff, the velocity, and all of it be a little bit better than what he showed in college, it’s pretty encouraging,” Elias said.