The Orioles have many decisions to make as the second half of the season begins. They’ll continue to engage in trade talks to beef up their staff, but first they’ll have to decide what to do about three players in limbo.
A week ago, Delmon Young was designated for assignment. The Orioles had 10 days to trade or release Young. If he they can’t trade him by Saturday, he’ll be released.
Young didn’t play badly for the Orioles. He had perhaps their most memorable hit of 2014, a three-run pinch hit double in the second game of the ALDS against Detroit.
With a roster crunch and few optionable players, Young’s limited skill set made him the likely cut.
His limited skill set is why it’s hard to trade him. While he has played the corner outfielder positions and has a decent arm, Young isn’t viewed as a good fielder.
If there’s a team that’s interested in him, they can simply wait the Orioles out, and then sign him for the second half after he’s released.
A team that signs him then pays him the prorated minimum salary while the Orioles pay the bulk of the approximately $1.1 million left on his deal.
When the Orioles designated Alejandro De Aza for assignment, they were able to trade him to Boston for minor league pitcher Joe Gunkel, but they’re paying about $2 million of the $3 million that was left on his contract.
If Young has no major league suitors, perhaps the Orioles would re-sign him and send him to Norfolk. He could be a useful September bat.
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Manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Minneapolis that Wesley Wright, who’s been on the disabled list since the season’s first week with a shoulder injury, has agreed to extend his rehab assignment until Sunday.
Wright, who was signed to a $1.7 million contract in December, pitched just twice for the Orioles. In eight games at Norfolk, Wright is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA.
It seems likely that the Orioles will have to designate him for assignment, too because Wright has no options remaining. He could be released and re-signed, too if the Orioles have interest.
Then, there’s Jason Garcia, the Rule 5 draft pick, who has begun a rehab assignment at Bowie. It’s his first trip to Double-A since Garcia was pitching in Low-A ball before he was selected in the draft.
Garcia needs 90 days on the active roster so that he’s not no longer subject to Rule 5. He’ll surely be active in September, but the Orioles need to have him on the active roster for about three additional weeks so that he’s officially Orioles property.
Garcia has pitched one scoreless inning at Bowie.
NOTE: Andres Mora, who played 226 games for the Orioles from 1976-78 died in Mexico on June 12. He was 60.