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Orioles could potentially lose a minor league affiliate under new MLB proposal

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Orioles could potentially lose a minor league affiliate under new MLB proposal

Orioles fans in 2019 have been forced to turn to their farm system to find successful teams to root for. Interest in the minor leagues has never been higher for O’s fans, and many have familiarity with the likes of the Bowie Baysox and Frederick Keys.

Under a new proposal from Major League Baseball, however, one of their affiliates might lose its player development contract. That could directly affect some Maryland-based Orioles affiliates and cause the Orioles to lose one of their teams. 

In an effort to improve the quality level of minor league play and facilities throughout farm systems across the country, Major League Baseball is proposing limiting each team to five affiliates and dropping the overall total to 120.

Teams that lose their player development contracts wouldn’t be eliminated, necessarily, and may even join a proposed new “Dream League.” But they would no longer be affiliated with specific franchises, and would not see top prospects come through their doors anymore.

Some minor league teams in Maryland could be directly affected by this change and lose their affiliation, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun

The report lists the two most at-risk teams in the Orioles system as the Delmarva Shorebirds and Frederick keys, the franchise’s Low-A and High-A affiliates, respectively.

Aberdeen, the short-season affiliate, would likely be “promoted” to a full-season level in this scenario, thanks to its location and strong facilities.

Plenty of big-name players have played in both Delmarva and Frederick. The future face of the franchise, Adley Rutschman, debuted with Shorebirds in August during the team’s historic regular season. 

It’s hard to tell if this proposal will end up going through, or if it will be for the best in the long run. Regardless, it will be a disappointing loss for those communities if they no longer get to see the best future stars play locally.

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Report: Orioles trade Dylan Bundy to the Angels

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Report: Orioles trade Dylan Bundy to the Angels

Wednesday has already brought a flurry of transactions in Major League Baseball, and the Orioles got in on the frenzy by trading Dylan Bundy to the Angels. 

According to Ken Rosenthal, Baltimore sent Bundy to LA in exchange for Triple-A pitching prospect Isaac Mattson. Jeff Passan reported that the three pitchers included in the package to Baltimore are Zach Peek, Kyle Bradish and Kyle Brnovich. 

The Orioles took Bundy fourth overall in the 2011 draft, but the right-hander wasn't able to become the ace they were hoping for in his first four seasons in the big leagues. 

In 2019 he went 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA over 161 innings pitched. His ERA never dipped below 4.00 during his tenure with the Orioles. 

Mattson was a 19th round pick by the Angels in 2017 and has yet to make an appearance in the majors. Last season he threw 73.1 innings for three different minor-league clubs and posted a 2.33 ERA with an opponent batting average of .184. 

Peek and Brnovich are both 2019 draft picks, while Bradish threw 101 innings in the California league last season. He posted a 4.28 ERA and .235 opponent batting average in 18 starts. 

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Report: Orioles place infielder Jonathan Villar on waivers

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Report: Orioles place infielder Jonathan Villar on waivers

The Baltimore Orioles may be in need of a new starting second baseman after reportedly waiving Jonathan Villar on Wednesday, giving other teams the opportunity to claim him before he likely becomes a free agent on Monday.

Villar, projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $10.4 million in his final year of arbitration, played all 162 games for the Orioles last season. He hit .274 with a .792 OPS while setting a career high in home runs (24) and stealing 40 bases.

The 28-year-old provides most of his value with his legs, with which he’s stolen 160 bases since 2016—second in baseball over that span behind only Billy Hamilton (173). Villar can also play multiple infield positions, logging over 300 career games at both second base and shortstop with experience at third and the outfield as well.

If Villar isn’t claimed by Monday, the Orioles will either negotiate a cheaper salary or non-tender a contract to him and allow him to become a free agent. With a weak free agent class at both second base and shortstop, Villar would likely have no problem finding a new employer for his services.

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