Baltimore Orioles Claim Ramon Urias Off Waivers From St.Louis Cardinals

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 04: A vendor sells programs before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 04, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 04: A vendor sells programs before the start of the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 04, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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The Baltimore Orioles continue to add options to the infield mix as spring training begins.  Today’s waiver claim displays an intent to strengthen the middle of the diamond.

The Baltimore Orioles announced today the acquisition of infielder Ramón Urías via a waiver claim from the St. Louis Cardinals.  In order to make room on the 40-man roster, INF Pat Valaika was removed after clearing waivers himself.  Valaika was subsequently out-righted to Norfolk (AAA) per the announcement.

Urías, whose 2019 season was limited by injury, spent the majority of the year in Memphis (AAA) where in 96 games he slashed .263/ .369/ .424 with nine home runs, 52 RBI, 44 walks, four stolen bases, and a 97 wRC+.  Most of his time was spent defensively at second base but he did see time at first, shortstop and third base as well.  He achieved a .981 fielding percentage with four errors in 215 total chances playing second base for the Redbirds.

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The 25-year-old native of Mexico became expendable when the Cardinals acquired LHP Ricardo Sanchez from the Seattle Mariners.

Urías previously spent five seasons (2013-2017) playing in the Mexican League where he produced a composite .323/ .405/ .493 slash line with 35 home runs, 196 RBI and 34 stolen bases at a 56% success rate.  He then moved to Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) for the 2018 season after joining the St. Louis Cardinals.

When he hits Urías puts the ball in play (.310 BABIP) and he has decent plate discipline as evidenced by an 18.9% strikeout rate.

At the end of the day, this is another in a long line of moves we can expect General Manager Mike Elias to make as spring training progresses.  It is one that adds to the talent pipeline at the very least and may competitively challenge Hanser Alberto at most.

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Competition for spots on the 26-man active roster is a good thing and spring training will be full of competition for the Baltimore Orioles.