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Orioles continue to search everywhere for outfielders

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Orioles continue to search everywhere for outfielders

The Orioles continue to make moves, major and minor. Some are easy to analyze, some aren’t.

Tuesday’s acquisition of Efren Navarro and the concurrent move, designating L.J. Hoes for assignment, falls into the latter category.

It’s not so much the addition of Navarro, another left-handed hitter to an outfield that needs more, but the jettisoning of Hoes.

It wasn’t very long ago that Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, trumpeted the re-acquisition of Hoes, who was traded away from the Orioles in July 2013 as part of the Bud Norris trade.

Hoes was popular with his teammates, Duquette emphasized. That’s not something that Duquette normally refers to, but it’s true. Adam Jones, perhaps the most influential of all the Orioles, liked Hoes and mentored him.

For a time, it seemed that Hoes and Nolan Reimold had a shot to make the 2016 Orioles. Now, Reimold looks as if he still does, and Hoes may be with another team.

The Orioles can try and work out a trade for Hoes, who is out of options. That’s how the Houston Astros, who are very fond of Hoes, lost him to the Orioles.

If he passes through waivers or the team doesn’t trade him, Hoes can go back to Norfolk.

Hoes checked off a lot of boxes for the Orioles. He’s still relatively young (26 in March), plays both corner outfield positions and has some speed. He’s also from Bowie, and having local players is big with Duquette.

Predictably, many fans decried the Navarro acquisition. The Orioles are trying to get as many left-handed hitters in the outfield as they can.

Hyun Soo Kim and Henry Urrutia are the only other left-handed hitting outfielders on the 40-man roster, though you have to believe Duquette will come up with some others in the next three weeks. Xavier Avery, a minor league signee hits left-handed, too. 

Hoes, Jones, Reimold, Dariel Alvarez, Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard and Mark Trumbo, who’ll probably DH, are all right-handed. So is Alfredo Marte, who was also signed to a minor league contract.

Jimmy Paredes, who played some right field in winter ball in the Dominican Republic, will get a look there, and he’s a switch-hitter.

It’s entirely possible that Navarro like Joey Terdoslavich, won’t even be around when the Orioles get to Sarasota next month. Terdoslavich, a switch-hitting outfielder, was briefly on the roster until designated for assignment when Davis was re-signed.

Terdoslavich was of interest because he attended Sarasota High School, about two miles away from Ed Smith Stadium. If he passes through waivers, he could be added to the burgeoning list of spring training invitees.

The acquisition of Navarro doesn’t preclude the Orioles from signing more accomplished outfielders, as they will surely do in the coming weeks. The Orioles also must stock Norfolk and Bowie with credible players, and add depth in case there are several injuries to outfielders.

Hopefully, Hoes will find a suitable home. But, it’s strange to realize that he only played in three games for the Orioles before his trade. It just seemed like more.

It would be nice for the Orioles to give Henry Urrutia, who’s one of the hardest workers on the team, a legitimate chance to be on his first Opening Day roster.

Urrutia, who three years ago, was stuck in Haiti trying to get to the U.S., has been a diligent student of the game and of the English language.

No longer a rookie, Urrutia who will be 29 next month, has a .272 average in 34 games with the Orioles in 2013 and 2015.

Another Cuban defector, Yoenis Cespedes, won’t be. According to Jon Heyman of the Baseball Network, the Orioles were one of a number of teams who offered Cespedes a five-year contract last week.

Cespedes ended up re-signing with the New York Mets. The Mets gave him a three-year contract with an opt-out after a year.

The Nationals offered Cespedes five years, and Heyman says the Orioles did, too. At least one other team offered Cespedes a five-year contract, too.

However, the Orioles have refused to offer free agents opt-outs, and Cespedes preferred the Mets.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles post timelapse video of Camden Yards during Storm Jonas

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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.

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

The Orioles got obliterated by the Yankees Tuesday night, losing the matchup 11-4.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

David Hess struggles against Yankees. The righty allowed eight hits – including a trio of home runs – while also walking four batters.

Stevie WIlkerson scored a three-run home run Tuesday in the Orioles' loss to the Yankees.

YANKEES:

Gary Sanchez joined his teammate Gleyber Torres in terrorizing Orioles pitchers this season, scoring his eighth home run of the year against the O’s alone.  

Domingo German allowed three runs -- two earned -- over five frames versus the Orioles on Tuesday to pick up his ninth win of the season.

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 10-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 10-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium  
Tuesday 5/21: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium 
Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium