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De Aza designated for assignment as Flaherty returns

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De Aza designated for assignment as Flaherty returns

BALTIMORE –- The Orioles are concerned about J.J. Hardy’s back, and with Ryan Flaherty returning from his second stint on the disabled list with a right groin injury, they surprisingly designated outfielder Alejandro De Aza for assignment on Wednesday.

De Aza, who was 1-for-14, batted .214 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 30 games. His 34 strikeouts were second on the team.

“It’s all tough. Ryan’s healthy and ready to go. We have to make sure that he and J.J. are fine from an infield coverage standpoint, and we’ve been probably an outfielder heavy,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“I think in the long run, like I told Alejandro, it’s going to work out better for him. It gives us an opportunity to trade him, which I’m sure Dan looked into already; I know he has, gauging interest. If nothing works out to our satisfaction or advantage, he, like he probably would have been at the end of this year, pick and choose from some teams that would have had interest in him. He’s going to end up in a better situation.”

The Orioles acquired De Aza last August 30 from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas.

In 20 games with the Orioles last year, De Aza hit .293 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.

“I feel good for him in the long run. I think he’ll understand it as he gets away from it. We know he’s capable of better and he’ll probably be able to do that somewhere else, but we kind of got into a situation [where] we had to make a move. It’s not going to be the first time, either. We’re going to have some more of those coming up, some tough ones with other people coming back to us. That’s also why we had to acquire players for the depth that we’ve had to have for the first part of the season.”

Everth Cabrera, who’s batting .205 in 25 games, represents infield insurance if Hardy, who came out of Monday’s game with a tight back, and Flaherty who’s been twice disabled with a strained right groin, are unable to play.

“I’m not going to get into who the competition was to take off. I know Ryan’s coming back, so a lot of people immediately think it might be an infielder, but [we] want to make sure,” Showalter said. “You still better cover yourself if there’s an issue in case something crops up with J.J. You better be sure you’re covered. We like our depth down there: Paul Janish. Nobody catches the ball much better than him, and of course [Rey] Navarro has presented himself as an option, so we feel good about that, but we want to take each case as it comes and see what best fits for us.”

De Aza took the Orioles to arbitration in February. He lost the case and has a $5 million salary. He began the season as the leadoff hitter, but as his strikeouts mounted, Manny Machado took over the top spot from the 31-year-old. He was 7-for-21 (.333) in the postseason.

“I think what he did for us the last third of the season is indicative of what he is capable of and probably will do this year at some point for somebody else. But that somebody else is not in the situation that we’re in as a team,” Showalter said.

“He showed flashes of it, and he will again. He’s a young man.”

The Orioles had two other left-handed outfielders, David Lough and Travis Snider, both of whom could be under team control next season.

“This is about roster management and where we are at right now, and trying to make sure that we’ve covered ourselves as we go forward. You just do that math of people that are coming back and some places where guys don’t have options. The options are there to protect the player. That’s why at some point they ran out of options so you can’t hoard players,” Showalter said.

Showalter said that Brian Matusz’s impending suspension did not affect the Orioles’ decision.

The manager was fond of De Aza. “Tough conversation with Allie, good kid, good people,” Showalter said.
 

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

The Orioles made a flurry of moves before falling to the Yankees 7-5 Wednesday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Baltimore acquired OF Keon Broxton from the Mets for international signing bonus slots. Broxton hit .143 in 34 games with New York this season before he was designated for assignment last week. The Orioles designated RHP Yefry Rodriguez for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Broxton. 

The Orioles transferred RHP Alex Cobb from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, meaning he won't be back until late June at the earliest. Cobb has been out since April 27 with a lumbar strain. Baltimore also claimed RHP Chandler Shepherd off waivers for the Cubs and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. 

YANKEES:

Giancarlo Stanton has been pulled away from his rehab assignment with High-A Tampa and placed back on the 10-day injured list with left calf tightness. Per manager Aaron Boone, Stanton will be shut down for the next 7-10 days. 

Boone also told reporters Zach Britton was unavailable for Wednesday's game against his former team, and CC Sabathia could miss his next start due to knee trouble. 

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Thursday 5/23: Orioles vs. Yankees, 12:35 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field

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2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

The Orioles and Royals battled back and forth most of 2018 for the title of the worst team in baseball, and ultimately, Baltimore pulled "ahead" to earn the top pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Any number one pick is important, but this one feels especially crucial, as Peter Angelos and his sons elected not to renew the contracts of GM Dan Duquette or manager Buck Showalter.

With a new regime in place, the player selected by the Orioles to kick off this year's draft will not only have the usual high expectations placed on their shoulders, but will also serve as the face of Mike Elias' rebuild of the organization.

Thankfully for the Orioles, this year's draft class, while not particularly deep with talent, appears to be historically strong at the top. Adley Rutschman, the projected top choice by many, will be a top 10 prospect in all of baseball the day he signs, according to some evaluators. The top three to four players as a group rival that of any in the last several classes.

Whoever they end up choosing to wear the black and orange going forward, the Orioles will be adding a talented, respected prospect to a farm system that desperately needs more future stars. It's especially exciting to the front office brass in Baltimore that each of the potential top picks in the class is not only talented, but also has a great head on his shoulders. Across the board among the top four guys, scouts rave about their work ethics and makeups.

It's been a tough season to watch in Baltimore, Miami, and Kansas City, but draft night will be an exciting moment in history for each of those franchises.

The Orioles will make the first selection in this year's draft at 7 p.m. on June 3.

2019 MLB Draft How to Watch:

What: 2019 MLB Draft Day One: Rounds 1-2
Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: MLB Network studios, Secaucus, NJ
TV Channel: MLB Network
Live Stream: MLB.com

How many rounds are there in the 2019 MLB Draft?

There are 40 rounds in the 2019 MLB Draft. Rounds 1-2 will air on MLB Network at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 3. Rounds 3-10 will stream on MLB.com, beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Rounds 11-40 will also stream on MLB.com, beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

2019 MLB Draft prospects to know: 

Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

Rutschman is the complete package both at the plate and behind it, and is considered by many evaluators to be the best incoming MLB prospect in several seasons. It's possible the Orioles look elsewhere with their first selection, but it would qualify as a major surprise if they don't take the future star catcher.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, High School (Texas)

The top prep player in the class, Witt projects to be a future five-tool shortstop, making him an incredibly valuable commodity. The son of a former pitcher, Witt has the defensive skillset to stick at shortstop, plus power at the plate, and a terrific makeup.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

Vaughn is having the best collegiate offensive career since Kris Bryant, which is a ton of praise. The first baseman lives up to that praise at the plate, winning the Golden Spikes Award as a sophomore in 2018 and taking his bat to another level this season. The defensive profile is the only thing keeping him from going higher.

CJ Abrams, SS, High School (Georgia)

Abrams is supremely athletic, blessed with elite speed and a quick bat. His natural talent should keep him at shortstop, with Gold Glove-caliber play in center field the likely defensive floor. If he can tap into his power while mainting great contact skills, his upside rivals anyone's in the class, Rutschman and Witt included.

Recent No. 1 picks in the MLB Draft:

2018: SP Casey Mize (Detroit Tigers)
2017: SS Royce Lewis (Minnesota Twins)
2016: OF Mickey Moniak (Philadelphia Phillies)
2015: SS Dansby Swanson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
2014: SP Brady Aiken (Houston Astros)
2013: SP Mark Appel (Houston Astros)
2012: SS Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)
2011: SP Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates)
2010: C/OF Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
2009: SP Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals)

What is the 2019 MLB Draft order?

1. Orioles
2. Royals 
3. White Sox 
4. Marlins 
5. Tigers 
6. Padres 
7. Reds 
8. Rangers
9. Braves (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Carter Stewart)
10. Giants
11. Blue Jays
12. Mets 
13. Twins 
14. Phillies 
15. Angels 
16. D-backs
17. Nationals 
18. Pirates 
19. Cardinals
20. Mariners 
21. Braves
22. Rays
23. Rockies
24. Indians
25. Dodgers 
26. Diamondbacks (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Matt McLain)
27. Cubs
28. Brewers
29. Athletics
30. Yankees
31. Dodgers (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder J.T. Ginn)
32. Astros
33. Red Sox

How was the 2019 MLB Draft order was determined?

The Baltimore Orioles hoped to compete in the 2018 season, but down seasons from multiple core players and injuries combined to take them out of contention early enough to sell off most of their assets at the 2018 Trade Deadline. After the firesale, it was all but certain they would lose 100+ games, but few expected a 47-115 final record, the worst in baseball.

The Royals were also historically bad, finishing with a 58-104 record to earn the second pick in the draft. In the same division, the White Sox went 62-100 to earn the draft's third selection. Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago were the only three teams to lose at least 100 games, as the Marlins had baseball's fourth-worst record at 63-98.

The Tigers round out the top five in this year's draft after a 64-98 season, giving the AL Central three of the five worst records in all of baseball.