Orioles add even more infield depth and claim same player off waivers for second time

Baltimore just keeps stockpiling infielders for a rainy day.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

One would think that one of the last things the Baltimore Orioles need right now would be more infield depth to muddy the waters and, to an extent, that is spot on. Not only is the big league roster glutted with position player talent at the moment, especially in the infield, but the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate is still loaded, even after promoting Jackson Holliday to the big leagues.

However, not all depth is the same. Sure, Baltimore has high-end prospects at a ton of positions, but that doesn't mean that they would want to start their service clock now if they don't have to, especially when it comes to dealing with short-term absences or filling bench spots. There are guys teams maintain as depth that are strictly "break glass in case of emergency" types who can be optioned on and off the roster with little regard.

It was that latter kind of waiver claim that Baltimore made recently when it was announced that the Orioles had claimed Livan Soto off of waivers from the Angels again and sent him straight to the minors.

Orioles claim infielder Livan Soto off of waivers

Remember him? Sure you do.

Soto actually started his journey as a pro with Atlanta before his contract was voided in November 2017 by MLB in the wake of the Braves' international free agent scandal, leading to him signing a minor-league deal with the Angels about a month later. It wasn't until September 2022 that he would make his major league debut, and he has garnered a reputation for being a light-hitting, slick-fielding infield defender who spent time on the fringes of the Angels' roster for a while before he was DFAed.

Funnily enough, this may feel like deja vu, because the Orioles claimed Soto off waivers earlier this offseason, only for the Angels to claim him right back once he got squeezed off of Baltimore's roster. Now, Soto is back to provide a very steady infield glove stashed away in the minor leagues if needed who isn't going mess with any player development plans or service time (the way fans feared Tony Kemp might).

For really good teams like the Orioles, that has a lot more value than you would think.

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