The Baltimore Orioles made their newest free agent acquisition official.
It’s official! On Tuesday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles formally announced the signing of shortstop Jose Iglesias, giving the Orioles the glove-first shortstop that general manager Mike Elias had at the top of his winter shopping list as he prepares the roster for 2020.
To make room for Iglesias on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Eric Hanhold Has been designated for assignment.
Hanhold was DFA’d by the New York Mets last September (to make room for former Orioles pitcher Donnie Hart) and claimed by the Orioles. Despite joining the organization with about two weeks left in the 2019 regular season, Hanhold never appeared with the team. At the time of the move, it was announced that Hanhold would be held back for 2020.
By all accounts, Hanhold appeared to be an intriguing arm for a struggling bullpen in Baltimore, possessing an upper-90s fastball and slider combination which was well-regarded.
If Hanhold passes through waivers, we could see him stay with the organization and attempt to work his way back onto the 40-man while pitching for the Norfolk Tides. The 26-year-old does have two options remaining.
After the signing was made official, Mike Elias jumped on a conference call with reporters and had a few interesting quotes.
With no true shortstop to back up Iglesias, keeping Martin in the majors does make some sense, especially with the expanded 26-man rosters. As we touched on this morning, unless the organization believes Martin can still become a valuable everyday shortstop, why not keep him up as a defensive option (I’m with the camp that says the eye test doesn’t match with his defensive metrics)?
Martin could learn a lot from Iglesias, who appears poised to take on a leadership role with the Orioles.
That’s promising after Kubatko’s earlier reports of the Orioles doing background work on Iglesias before and finding him not to be a clubhouse fit.
Again, Jose Iglesias doesn’t change the outlook for 2020 and doesn’t change any future plans of the organization, but the signing does provide a bit more anticipation for spring training.