Baltimore Orioles: What’s Next After Keon Broxton Trade?
The Baltimore Orioles need to make room for Keon Broxton on the active roster. They will likely go one of two ways.
On Wednesday afternoon, as I was watching former Baltimore Orioles draft pick SS Greg Jones and his UNC-Wilmington Seahawks in the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament, I saw the notification that the O’s had traded for outfielder Keon Broxton. Instead of continuing to daydream about what could have been if the Orioles had been able to sign Greg Jones as I watched his silky smooth defense, my attention turned to the ramifications of this Broxton trade.
The Orioles need to clear a 25-man roster spot. Who will it be? Mike Elias could end up surprising all of us with this decision, but there seem to be two logical choices.
Keon Broxton wasn’t the only new addition, as the Orioles also claimed pitcher Chandler Shepherd off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Shepherd is a 26-year-old right-handed arm out of the University of Kentucky. He went 0-5 with a 10.01 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox AAA affiliate) before today.
I’m going to be honest and say that I haven’t done any research on Shepherd, however, after spending plenty of time watching other recently acquired minor league pitching talent like David Lebron, I’ll trust Elias and remain optimistic when I sit down to watch him pitch with the Norfolk Tides in the coming days.
To make room for Broxton and Shepherd on the 40-man roster, the Orioles moved starting pitcher Alex Cobb to the 60-day Injured List (joining fellow pitcher Nate Karns) and designated RHP Yefry Ramirez for assignment. Ramirez was someone I really enjoyed watching pitch in the minor leagues, unfortunately, he just hasn’t been able to find success at the major league level. We’ll see where he ends up in the next few days.
The question now becomes, who does Keon Broxton replace on the active roster?
The Baltimore Orioles have a big decision to make.
There are two obvious candidates who immediately jump to mind, with the first and most logical choice being Joey Rickard. Rickard has an option remaining, so if you’re one of the few Rickard fans, you are in luck.
If the Orioles have Trey Mancini entrenched in right field (and Mark Trumbo possibly returning in a few weeks), Dwight Smith Jr.in left field, a combo of Broxton and Wilkerson in center, and the desire to bring up DJ Stewart in the very near future, to answer Joe Trezza’s question above, it means Joey Rickard will be getting his playing time in Norfolk or with another organization.
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The other option could also be Renato Nunez. While his power at the plate is fun to watch (eight home runs this season), Nunez is hitting just .214 in 46 games. However, Brandon Hyde has continued to praise Nunez and believes he can work himself out of this slump, eventually.
Having Wilkerson split his time in center while replacing Nunez in the lineup makes sense, but I don’t get the vibe that the Baltimore Orioles are ready to cut bait with Nunez, at least not yet. He’s 25 and possesses outstanding power at the plate. Rickard is 28 and struggled to stay ahead of Chris Davis in the batting average department. Rickard is at .203 right now, giving him a .245 career average in 317 major league games.
I have a hard time believing a pitcher gets the ax so Broxton can join the active roster. Dan Straily is a disaster, so much so that if he is the scheduled starter, I don’t even check social media for game updates. The entire starting rotation is largely unable to work deep into games, meaning an overworked and exhausted bullpen. This current 20-game stretch without an off-day hasn’t helped anyone and the Orioles are heading to…checks schedule…Colorado. Oh boy.
I’m placing my bets on Broxton replacing Rickard on the roster, but it does feel as if Mike Elias is ready to shake things up, so we’ll see.
What do you think? How do the Baltimore Orioles add Keon Broxton to the active roster? Does this start a chain reaction of big moves? Give us your thoughts.