Baltimore Orioles bring back L.J. Hoes


In a move that’s sure to bring a few crass comments out of the woodwork, the Baltimore Orioles have completed a trade with Houston that is returning former prospect L.J. Hoes to Baltimore. The O’s traded cash considerations to Houston for Hoes’ services, returning Hoes to the organization that drafted and bred him. Hoes was originally traded to Houston in 2013 for pitcher Bud Norris.

Courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hoes, a Washington D.C. native, is a career .237 hitter at the big league level. He only appeared in eight games with Houston this past season, however the Orioles like his speed and endurance. He’s also nimble in the sense that he can play all three outfield positions.

Some people will brush this off as the Orioles being cheap, however the fact is that they do need corner outfielders. While Hoes has a lot of room for improvement at the plate, when he does get on base he’ll provide the team with a shot in the arm with his speed. The downside to this from the Orioles’ perspective is that Hoes has burned through his minor league options. The only reason he was available to begin with is because he was DFA’d off of Houston’s roster last week.

So obviously that means that the Orioles will have to keep him on the roster, and I would expect him to be on the roster Opening Day. He has to be, otherwise he’d have the option of accepting a minor league assignment or becoming a free agent. The Orioles DFA’d minor leaguer Andy Wilkens to make space for Hoes on the roster.

On one hand this puts the team in somewhat of a position given the fact that they now have another player without options. However there were a lot of people in the organization who were hesitant to trade Hoes at all back in July of 2013. Now granted Hoes may not have developed the way that Houston hoped, however one has to believe that he’ll be given a fresh start back in Baltimore, where he started.

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I was a little surprised that the O’s were able to swing a trade so late before the holiday, on the day before Thanksgiving. But keep in mind that the waiver wire and the trade market is always working in MLB. Stranger things have happened!

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On that note, my hope is that everyone reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving today, I know that I’m planning to do so!