The Baltimore Orioles have traded for Efren Navarro, formerly of the LA Angels.
In a move that probably won’t make to many waves across baseball, the Baltimore Orioles traded cash considerations yesterday to the LA Angels for outfielder Efren Navarro. Navarro is a corner outfielder who’s spent parts of four seasons with Los Angeles. He’s a career .246 hitter, and he hit .253 over 54 games at the big league level last year.
Navarro has similar numbers to LJ Hoes, who the Orioles unfortunately had to designate for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Navarro. Mind you, the Washington DC native was obtained earlier this off season in a similar manner to Navarro (in a trade with Houston), and the Orioles drafted him before trading him in 2013. So all things being equal, why this move? Shouldn’t the O’s in theory have more invested in Hoes?
They do, and first off keep in mind that Hoes might well clear waivers and have the option of remaining in the organization. However this move makes a little bit of sense for the O’s given the fact that Navarro has a minor league option. As we know the Orioles use the entire 40-man roster over the course of the season. Last year they found themselves in a bit of a crunch in that not many players had options – this gives them just a bit of flexibility.
Vice-President of Baseball Operations, Dan Duquette said of Navarro in a statement (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
"Navarro is a versatile player who is a capable hitter and very good first baseman."
I found it interesting that Duquette called Navarro out as a first baseman given who the Orioles just signed a week-and-a-half ago. However I suspect there’s no hidden inference there, probably just a show of how this move allows them to be nimble with their lineup if need be. Davis will be the primary first baseman without a doubt.
As I said, LJ Hoes could possibly pass through waivers and remain in the organization. If he passes through, it’ll be his decision whether he wants to accept a minor league assignment or become a free agent. Given the fact that he was already DFA’d by Houston this off season, perhaps he might oft to stay in the organization. He’s a guy that’s worked very hard and I certainly hope that he’s in someone’s system this year.