Baltimore Orioles continue to tweak roster, trade Breyvic Valera
By Tim Smart
In a minor move on Saturday, the Baltimore Orioles traded infielder Breyvic Valera to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations
The Baltimore Orioles continue to make minor roster adjustments ahead of the 2019 season, sending Breyvic Valera to the Giants for cash considerations last night. Valera was designated for assignment on Friday afternoon to make room for RHP Austin Brice, who the O’s claimed off waivers from the Angels two days ago.
Valera’s future in Baltimore was left in doubt after the Orioles acquired infielders Richie Martin, Drew Jackson, and Rio Ruiz earlier this offseason. Valera was moderately effective in Baltimore after the Orioles acquired him from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade, until a broken finger sustained while sliding into a base in September prematurely ended his season.
Valera was projected to be healthy before the Orioles reported to spring training in early-February and would’ve been in a battle with Jackson, Ruiz and Steve Wilkerson for back-up playing time in the Baltimore infield next season. However, GM Mike Elias had other plans for the 26-year-old.
Elias has been busy this offseason, bringing in his own guys and moving on from a handful of players from the Dan Duquette era. Valera is the latest victim of the roster cut machine, but there’s a good chance he isn’t the last. With six weeks before the Orioles’ pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, there’s plenty of time for Elias to make a few more roster adjustments.
The Orioles realistically need help everywhere, but we’ll soon find out whether the Orioles will be in the market for a veteran free-agent catcher, an outfielder, and potentially a starting pitcher. Elias has stated his intent to wait out the market and pick from the leftovers, and there isn’t anything wrong with that; they should be able to find value in that bottom tier of free-agents.
The Orioles of the past never did a great job identifying and acquiring talent from the bottom of the pile, but ideally Elias and Sig Mejdal will help reverse that stereotype and push the O’s forward.
We’ll soon be heading into the final stretch of the offseason. It’d be a surprise to see the Orioles make a move mid-way through spring training like they did last year with Alex Cobb. The Orioles won’t be big spenders this year, and it feels safe to assume that any free-agent signings will happen before pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota.
On a related note, one free-agent who won’t be returning to Baltimore next year is LHP Zach Britton.
Drafted in 2006, Britton spent 13 years with the Orioles before being shipped to New York at the trade deadline this year. Britton pitched well down the stretch for the Yankees in 2018, leaving no reason to think that he won’t return to his pre-injury form. Steamer projects Britton for a 3.01 ERA in 55 innings next year.
As of right now, the Orioles have a few moves left to make before we get to spring training. We’ll see what happens this week as the Orioles move closer toward the 2019 season.