The Orioles have claimed right-hander Austin Brice off waivers from the Angels, as announced by both teams. In a corresponding move to clear roster space, the O’s have designated infielder Breyvic Valera for assignment. Baltimore now has a full 40-man roster.
This is the second time the hard-throwing Brice has switched organizations this offseason, as he was claimed off the Reds roster by the Angels back in November, but then DFA’ed by the Halos last week once they signed Jonathan Lucroy. Brice, 26, has a 5.68 ERA over 84 career innings with the Reds and Marlins from 2016-18. His main issue at the big league level has been the home run ball, with an ungainly 1.9 HR/9 over the last two seasons. Despite his homer woes, Brice has generated ground balls (career 51.2% grounder rate) at an above-average rate. It’s a fairly low-risk acquisition by the Orioles, who will be exploring any number of young players as they begin their rebuilding process.
Valera has a .529 OPS over 86 career Major League plate appearances with the Orioles, Dodgers, and Cardinals, and he is perhaps best known for being included as part of the trade package L.A. sent to Baltimore last summer for Manny Machado. Turning 27 next week, Valera does own a pretty solid .299/.357/.388 slash line over 3659 career minor league PA and he offers some utility depth. Valera has spent much of his pro career as a second baseman, though he has experience playing any position on the diamond except catcher and pitcher.