Baltimore Orioles Release Veteran Outfielder Eric Young Jr
Before the Baltimore Orioles take on the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training action, a roster move was announced.
The Baltimore Orioles have released outfielder Eric Young Jr., as reported by MASNSports’s Roch Kubatko.
Young, a veteran of 10 major league seasons, was signed in early February to a minor-league contract with an invitation to MLB camp.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old was in the midst of an excellent spring training. In his 13 spring training games, he hit .323 (10-31) with seven walks, a home run, one double, and added two stolen bases. The seven walks contributed to his whopping .462 on-base percentage which was part of a very solid .913 OPS.
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The move should not surprise Orioles fans. Despite an excellent spring training, the team has shown they aren’t going to keep around a veteran if they believe the younger players on the roster can contribute (see Alcides Escobar move earlier this week). They could have kept him around in AAA Norfolk to provide guidance in the development of outfielders Austin Hays, Anthony Santander and DJ Stewart, however, Young wants to compete for a major league job instead of accepting an assignment to the minor leagues, at the moment.
That being said, the team should not rule out bringing Young back at some point this season. If and when injuries occur and if he goes unsigned, he could grab a spot on the roster. Having a guy around who has 10 years of experience at the MLB level can never hurt when your team is trying to develop young players. If at some point there would be a situation this season where the team needs to fill a void, Young’s performance in spring training deserves a second look by the Birds.
According to Kubatko, a second look at Young is certainly not out of the question, as general manager Mike Elias said he would consider bringing Young back again if he cannot find a better opportunity.
The move leaves Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Joey Rickard, and Dwight Smith Jr.in the outfield, with utility man and Rule 5 pick Drew Jackson as a current fifth option.