The Baltimore Orioles made an interesting personnel move yesterday – they claimed right-handed reliever Austin Brice off of waivers. Brice, formerly of the Anaheim Angels, has been a big league reliever for three years. He spent 2016 with Miami, and the past two seasons with Cincinnati.
Brice has an ERA of 5.68 and a record of 2-4 over 70 appearances in three years as a reliever. That’s hardly the type of production for which the Orioles are looking or that they need. However he does have an upside in that he’s young. And he’s coming to an organization in the Orioles which has a lot of young pieces and a young coaching staff.
I suppose part of what I’m saying is that this could be a classic “change of air” type of situation. The other interesting thing about this is who the Orioles had to DFA to make room for Brice on the roster. That would be Breyvic Valera, who was acquired in the Machado trade last year.
Valera was expected to compete for a possible platoon role in the infield. However for now, he’s been DFA’d off the roster. It’s certainly possible that he clears waivers and opts to accept a minor league assignment, remaining in the organization. However one thing to keep in mind is that Valera was acquired in a trade consummated by Dan Duquette.
Mike Elias, the current GM, has no ties to that move. So…is Elias more inclined to see the parts in that trade as moving pieces as opposed to bedrocks? Interesting question for sure.