MLB teams are prohibited from moving Major League players, but minor league players are fair game. And, the Baltimore Orioles said good-bye to many minor league players.
But the Baltimore Orioles didn’t just cut one or two, they ravaged the minor leagues at let 37 players go.
Two of the names you might recognize, as they are Orioles legacies: Dalton Hoiles and Preston Palmeiro. But, many of the others are names that you haven’t heard of and might not ever hear of with other teams. The release was reported by MLB Trade Rumors and The Athletic.
With COVID-19 still making its way through communities, minor league teams have been hit especially hard. These teams aren’t in major markets and run by billionaires. MLB was already planning on cutting 40 minor league teams with the current Professional Baseball Agreement expires in September. But, like the MLB season, PBA discussions aren’t moving much either.
The PBA is different from the CBA. The PBA is the agreement between the minor leagues and the MLB. The CBA is the collective bargaining agreement for the MLB players.
Along with the two Orioles legacies, the team also cut Jomar Reyes, who was expected to do great things for the Orioles when Dan Duquette signed him in 2014 when he was only 16. He was expected to rise alongside players like Trey Mancini and Mychal Givens, but he didn’t pan out. The Orioles paid Reyes $350,000 when they signed him. At that time, it was largest signing bonus given to a player from the Dominican Republic.
The Orioles did keep all of their top prospects and all players who had invites to 2020 Spring Training. They also kept the third-generation Ripken: Ryan Ripken. At age 26, the son of Cal Ripken Jr.has yet to find playing time in Triple-A ball. The left-handed first baseman and DH split the 2019 season between Single-A and Double-A and recorded a combined slash of .276/.312/.409. He signed with the Orioles in 2014.
All of the players who were released will enter free agency, so other teams could sign them for minor league contracts. But, with the draft on the horizon and the potential minor league team cuts, the outlook isn’t looking good for these young ball players.