On Tuesday, the Orioles claimed outfielder Jake Cave off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Just because it’s the offseason and the Orioles aren’t in the playoffs, that doesn’t mean they aren’t making transactions. To make room for Cave on the 40-man roster, Jake Reed was DFA’d. Reed himself was a waiver claim during the regular season.
Cave is a 29-year-old outfielder, who will hit 30 years of age in December. He was a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB Draft out of a high school in Virginia. He has experience at all three outfield positions and could prove to be a valuable resource for prospects such as Kyle Stowers or Colton Cowser.
This offseason is Cave’s second year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors has him projected to make $1.2 million in arbitration this winter. His third and final arbitration year is in the winter before the 2024 season, and he’s scheduled to hit free agency at the end of the 2024 season.
Baltimore Orioles claim OF Jake Cave off waivers from the Minnesota Twins
The 2022 season was Cave’s fifth at the major league level, all with the Minnesota Twins. He ended the year with a .213 batting average, .260 on base percentage, and .644 OPS, hitting five home runs and posting 20 RBI’s and seven doubles in 54 games for the Twins.
Because he only appeared in 54 games in 2022, Cave only shows up on three Statcast advanced metrics from 2022. His best mark is the arm strength, rated in the 79th percentile according to Baseball Savant. His sprint speed gets above average marks, rated in the 69th percentile. His max exit velocity is the worst rating of the three, sitting in the 47th percentile, so he doesn’t make lots of hard contact.
Over the course of five seasons with the Twins, Cave had a .235 batting average, .297 on base percentage, and a .708 OPS. He has 33 home runs and 118 RBI’s, contributing five stolen bases in 335 career regular season games. He is 1-4 in three career postseason games.
With the claiming of Cave, the Orioles outfield picture entering 2023 consists of Cave, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Ryan McKenna, and Kyle Stowers. Ryan Mountcastle also has outfield experience, and Brett Phillips is an intriguing minor league free agent option for the Orioles to consider.