Baltimore Orioles – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-22T14:49:00Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Orioles Release Matt Wotherspoon, Josh Lucas]]> 2019-08-20T01:55:12Z 2019-08-20T01:55:12Z The Orioles have released righties Matt Wotherspoon and Josh Lucas, per an announcement from the club’s top affiliate. Neither presently held a 40-man roster spot.

The Baltimore organization has continued to cycle through arms at the MLB level, with an obvious need for depth. But the churn has also created a roster squeeze in the upper minors, which perhaps explains these moves.

Wotherspoon, 27, got his first MLB look earlier this year but failed to impress in a brief showing. He’s sporting a 5.54 ERA in 65 innings of Triple-A ball, with 9.3 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9.

As for Lucas, he has seen big-league time in two prior big-league seasons in addition to two stints this year with the O’s. The former 21st rounder twice accepted outright assignments but wasn’t on tap for a return to the MLB roster after managing only a 6.85 ERA in 23 2/3 frames with Norfolk.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Orioles Shut Down Prospect D.L. Hall]]> 2019-08-18T23:49:08Z 2019-08-18T23:49:08Z
  • Orioles left-handed pitching prospect D.L. Hall has been shut down for the season following a left lat strain,’s Roch Kubatko reports (Twitter link).  While the injury isn’t considered serious, Hall won’t have enough time to get back before the Orioles’ A-ball affiliate in Frederick completes its season.  The 21st overall pick of the 2017 draft, Hall has a 3.46 ERA and 12.9 K/9 over 80 2/3 innings for Frederick this season, though with a troubling 6.0 BB/9.  ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Hall 35th in his midseason top-50 prospects list and Baseball America has Hall 38th in their top 100 list, while (62) and Fangraphs (63) are just a touch less bullish on his promise.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Orioles Recall Hunter Harvey]]> 2019-08-18T15:41:00Z 2019-08-17T15:05:30Z The Orioles recalled right-hander Hunter Harvey, the team’s PR department announced. This comes after Tom Eshelman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk last night.

    Harvey, 24, is a former top prospect whose ascent was slowed by a number of injuries. When he enters a game, it will be a major league debut for Harvey, though it’s not his first call-up. Harvey spent three games with the big league club without making an appearance in April 2018,’s Rich Dubroff reminds us (via Twitter).

    The 6’3″ North Carolina native has been a starter for most of his career, including for 11 turns in Double-A this season, where he went 2-5 with a 5.19 ERA/5.57 FIP/3.52 xFIP over 59 innings. Upon a promotion to Norfolk, Harvey moved to the bullpen. In 16 2/3 innings over 12 relief outings, he struck out 22 while walking just 5 batters en route to a 4.32 ERA/3.62 FIP. Fangraphs gives him a 40 FV while ranking him the Orioles 22nd best prospect before the start of the season. currently pegs him as the organization’s 15th best prospect.

    Eshelman, 25, has been an active traveler this season. He started the year in Reading with the Phillies Double-A affiliate. A month after being promoted to Lehigh Valley, the Phillies traded Eshelman to the Orioles in June. Eshelman made his debut in a spot start against the Rays on July 1. After giving up two runs over five in the 3-6 loss, he was optioned back to Triple-A until a call-up two weeks later.

    In total, Eshelman made four starts and six relief appearances for Brandon Hyde’s club. He went 1-2 with a 6.50 ERA/7.33 FIP in 36 innings of work.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Outrighted: Yacabonis, Mantiply, Lail]]> 2019-08-17T02:15:03Z 2019-08-17T02:15:03Z Let’s catch up on a few announcements regarding players who have been outrighted after clearing waivers …

    • The Orioles announced that righty Jimmy Yacabonis is destined for Triple-A after clearing. He had struggled in a 41-inning showcase this year, managing only a 5.40 ERA with 7.2 K/9 against 5.3 BB/9. Yacabonis has produced similar numbers in parts of two prior seasons in the majors.
    • A pair of hurlers are heading to the Yankees’ top affiliate via outright assignment. Southpaw Joe Mantiply struggled in his lone outing with the Yanks after being acquired from the Reds. That was his first time in the bigs since a brief 2016 debut. Righty Brady Lail also lost his 40-man spot after a single MLB appearance. He has worked to a 2.79 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 over 42 minor-league frames this year.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Orioles Sign Hunter Cervenka To Minors Deal]]> 2019-08-15T19:11:27Z 2019-08-15T19:11:27Z
  • The Orioles signed left-hander Hunter Cervenka to a minor league contract.  Cervenka had a 2.95 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 2.17 K/BB rate over 42 2/3 innings for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate this season before being released in late July.  The 29-year-old has been able to consistently miss bats (career 9.4 K/9) over his 506 2/3 minor league innings, though given that he has also battled some at-times extreme control problems, this season’s 4.5 BB/9 is a fairly positive development for the southpaw.  Cervenka tossed 48 innings for the Braves and Marlins in 2016-17 and hasn’t been back to the big leagues since, spending 2018 pitching in the independent Atlantic League and in the Tigers’ farm system.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Designate Jimmy Yacabonis For Assignment]]> 2019-08-14T19:21:55Z 2019-08-14T18:56:22Z The Orioles announced this afternoon that they’ve designated right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis for assignment. His spot on the roster will go to fellow righty Ryan Eades, whose previously reported waiver claim out of the Twins organization has now been formally announced by the Orioles.

    Yacabonis, 27, has struggled substantially in the Majors despite solid, if unremarkable results in the upper minors. He’s in the midst of his final season with minor league options, so the Orioles seemingly value the flexibility that Eades brings to the table over a righty who has received numerous auditions in recent seasons.

    Dating back to his 2017 MLB debut, Yacabonis has pitched 101 2/3 innings for the Orioles, mostly as a reliever or opener. In that time he’s turned in a 5.75 ERA while averaging 6.6 strikeouts, 5.0 walks and 1.68 home runs per nine innings pitched. Yacabonis’ heater has averaged 94 mph with slightly above-average spin in that time, but he’s given up far too much hard contact and struggled both throwing strikes and commanding the ball within the zone. He’ll be made available to the other 29 teams in the league via outright waivers in the coming days., though if he clears, the Orioles will be able to retain him and assign him to a minor league affiliate without dedicating a 40-man roster spot to him.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Claim Ryan Eades]]> 2019-08-14T18:52:28Z 2019-08-14T18:26:17Z The Orioles have claimed right-hander Ryan Eades off outright waivers from the Twins, Roch Kubatko of reports (via Twitter). Baltimore’s 40-man roster is full, so a corresponding roster move will need to be made.

    Eades, 27, was Minnesota’s second-round pick out of Louisiana State University back in 2013. He made his big league debut earlier this summer when he tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball, but his minor league track record has been rather spotty. The 6’2″, 210-pound righty has never ranked among the Twins’ best pitching prospects, despite his draft status, and he was shifted to the bullpen back in 2016 after posting lackluster numbers in the rotation.

    Eades showed well out of the ’pen in 2018, tossing 76 1/3 innings with a 3.54 ERA, 10.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9 and a 40 percent ground-ball rate in 76 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The bottom-line results for Eades in 2019 haven’t been as encouraging; he’s posted a 5.51 ERA in 50 1/3 innings with Minnesota’s top affiliate in Rochester. However, he’s also averaging a career-best 11.2 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9. Eades’ HR/9 mark has doubled to 1.2, but long balls throughout all of Triple-A are through the roof now in 2019 after the decision to switch over to the Major League ball (the same one that has led to record home-run paces throughout MLB).

    The addition of Eades will give the Orioles some optionable depth for the foreseeable future. Because his contract was only selected this season, Eades can be optioned back and forth not only for the remainder of the 2019 season but also in two additional seasons beyond the current campaign.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Chris Davis, Brandon Hyde In Dugout Altercation]]> 2019-08-08T06:58:13Z 2019-08-08T06:58:13Z
  • Not only did Baltimore drop an embarrassing 14-2 decision to New York on Wednesday, but there was an all-too-public dugout altercation between struggling Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and manager Brandon Hyde during the game (video via Joe Trezza of Orioles hitting coach Don Long and injured slugger Mark Trumbo had to restrain Davis, whom the O’s then removed for a pinch-hitter. Hyde didn’t want to go into detail about it afterward, telling Roch Kubatko of and other reporters that the team will “keep it in-house.” He didn’t seem overly concerned about the matter, though, chalking it up to frustrations boiling over during what has been an adverse season. Davis wasn’t available for comment.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Release Nate Karns, Outright Jose Rondon]]> 2019-08-07T20:56:05Z 2019-08-07T20:56:05Z The Orioles announced Wednesday that they’ve released right-hander Nate Karns and outrighted infielder Jose Rondon to Triple-A Norfolk. Both players cleared waivers; Karns, however, has the requisite service time to elect free agency.

    Karns will head back to free agency after missing the bulk of the 2019 season due to forearm issues. He’d made it back to the mound prior to his DFA, pitching in three rehab appearances between July 12 and July 23. The 31-year-old Karns tossed 5 1/3 innings with the O’s and yielded only one unearned run early in the season, but he was tagged for 10 runs in 10 1/3 innings of work across two rehab stints this season (the first of which was halted after a late-April setback). Injuries, most notably thoracic outlet surgery, have largely wiped out the past four seasons for Karns, making 2015’s 147 innings of 3.67 ERA ball for the Rays feel like a distant memory.

    Rondon, 25, received just one plate appearance with the O’s after being claimed off waivers out of the White Sox organization. He’d previously batted .197/.265/.282 in Chicago before being designated for assignment. Rondon is a versatile infield defender but hasn’t received strong grades for his small sample of innings at shortstop. He’s a lifetime .264/.300/.463 in 508 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Renato Nunez Drew Interest At Trade Deadline]]> 2019-08-07T04:00:53Z 2019-08-07T02:43:49Z
  • Orioles designated hitter/corner infielder Renato Nunez drew some interest prior to the trade deadline, Roch Kubatko of writes. The Orioles wound up keeping Nunez, a May 2018 waiver claim who has taken advantage of regular playing time this year to hit .246/.313/.486 with 25 home runs in 434 plate appearances. Nunez, 25, won’t be eligible for arbitration until after next season.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Outright Nate Karns]]> 2019-08-05T12:26:13Z 2019-08-05T12:25:39Z Right-hander Nate Karns cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Orioles and was sent outright to Triple-A Norfolk, per the International League’s transaction log. Karns does have enough service time to reject the assignment in favor of free agency, but doing so would mean surrendering the remainder of this season’s $800K salary, so he’ll likely remain with the organization.

    Karns, 31, was the Orioles’ only Major League signing of the 2018-19 offseason, but he hasn’t been healthy enough to factor into the team’s plans in the Majors. A forearm strain landed Karns on the injured list in early April and has proved difficult to move past. He’s tallied just 5 1/3 innings in the Majors this season, with another 10 1/3 innings pitched on a minor league rehab assignment. Karns didn’t allow a run in his tiny stretch of MLB work, but he’s yielded 10 runs on 10 hit and 10 walks with five strikeouts during his rehab efforts.

    Back in 2015, Karns tossed 147 innings of 3.67 ERA ball for the Rays and looked to be an interesting, controllable piece of their staff. He was traded to the Mariners in the Logan Morrison deal, however, and then flipped to the Royals for Jarrod Dyson after struggling in his lone Seattle season. Karns pitched 45 1/3 innings with Kansas City before undergoing thoracic outlet surgery and missing the entire 2018 season. At this point, he’s spent time on the 60-day IL in each of the past four big league seasons.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[John Means To Return Wednesday]]> 2019-08-04T13:16:36Z 2019-08-04T13:16:36Z
  • The Orioles are also set to welcome back a left-handed starter in the coming days. Manager Brandon Hyde tells Joe Trezza of that All-Star John Means will be activated from the injured list to take the mound Wednesday. Means will miss just more than the 10-day minimum, having hit the shelf with rotator cuff inflammation in his throwing arm July 26. The previously-unheralded 26 year-old has emerged as the club’s best starter in 2019, working to a 3.12 ERA. While it’s tough to imagine him continuing that level of run prevention with a below-average 19.3% strikeout rate and 34.9% ground ball rate, Means is a volume strike-thrower who looks like a solid back-end starter, a welcome find for the pitching-starved club.
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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Orioles Claim Ty Blach, Designate Jose Rondon]]> 2019-08-03T18:06:56Z 2019-08-03T17:39:32Z The Orioles have claimed left-hander Ty Blach, MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports. Blach was designated for assignment by San Francisco a week ago. INF Jose Rondon was designated for assignment to make room.

    Blach, 28, was a reasonably productive swingman for the 2016-18 versions of the club, with numbers slightly inflated (per fWAR and other metrics that rely heavily on park factors) by the enormous dimensions of SF’s Oracle Park. The lefty, who’s posted the league’s lowest strikeout total since his debut in late 2016, threw up a solid 3.84 FIP in 47 appearances (13 starts) for the Giants last season, a performance that ostensibly wasn’t enough to curry favor with the new regime. He’s spent much of the this season trying to survive in the PCL, where his 5.93 ERA/5.26 FIP are actually respectable totals in the harrowing offensive climate that dots the league’s landscape.

    It’s possible the soft-tosser steps right into an embattled Baltimore rotation, which treats cast-offs, fringe prospects, and former stalwarts all the same. Blach’s career 50% grounder rate should play well in the miniaturized dimensions of Camden Yards, though he won’t be afforded the same heavy-air cushion he was at Oracle. Still, it’s as good of opportunity as could be hoped for 28-year-old, who’d likely have returned to Triple-A in most organizations around the league.

    Rondon, 25, was a promising utility prospect in the Padres system from 2014-17, but hit the skids in the high minors and couldn’t steady himself after transitioning to the AL with the White Sox. Rondon did post a solid 102 wRC+ in limited action for the Pale Hose last season, but his .197/.265/.282 ’19 line wasn’t enough to keep him in the organization. He appeared in just a single game for the Orioles; the club’ll obviously hope he clears waivers and can be outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[John Means Hires Wasserman Agency]]> 2019-08-03T00:04:24Z 2019-08-03T00:04:24Z Breakout Orioles left-hander John Means has hired the Wasserman Agency to represent him, as MLBTR’s own Tim Dierkes reports on Twitter. Agent Sam Samardzija will take the lead in handling Means’s business.

    [RELATED: MLBTR Agency Database]

    The 26-year-old Means came into the pro ranks as an 11th-round pick. He took a steady path to the majors, never really standing out as a particularly notable organizational prospect. But he cracked the bigs in 2018 and earned a longer look with the rebuilding O’s this spring.

    Giving Means a full audition proved wise for the new Baltimore front office. He has rewarded the organization with 98 frames of 3.12 ERA pitching, with 7.2 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9, while picking up a rare rookie All-Star nod. Means still has quite a bit to prove — ERA estimators are far less bullish than his results — but he has been able to induce a good bit of mediocre contact to this point. Statcast credits him with a .299 xwOBA-against that’s nearly identical to the .298 wOBA produced by opposing hitters.

    Having cracked the Orioles roster to open the present season, Means will end the year with a full season of service (plus a few days from last year). That puts him on course to potentially reach arbitration in advance of the 2022 season.

    Of more immediate concern, it seems Means has bounced back well from a minor recent arm issue. As Roch Kubatko of reports on Twitter, the Baltimore southpaw is expected to throw a full bullpen session in the coming days. He hopes to come off of the IL to take a start next Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mancini Extension Not A Near-Term Priority For Orioles]]> 2019-08-02T12:33:50Z 2019-08-02T12:33:27Z
  • Trey Mancini remains in Baltimore after the trade deadline, but the decision not to move him doesn’t mean an extension is the next step for the slugger. “Looking at contract extensions is just not at the forefront of my plate right now,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias tells’s Roch Kubatko“but certainly he’s an attractive guy to have here for a while.” It’s not the first time that Elias, hired to spearhead the Orioles’ rebuild this offseason, has suggested that he views Mancini as a potential long-term piece. But Mancini is already controlled through 2022 — his age-30 season. Given that he won’t even reach arbitration until this winter, there’s simply not much urgency to extend Mancini, even if he’s in the midst of the best season of his young career. Through 443 plate appearances, Mancini has posted a robust .282/.343/.539 slash (130 OPS+) with a career-high 25 home runs. Elias also praised the recent play of outfielder Anthony Santander the manner in which he has begun to establish himself as a viable big league hitter.
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