Hess becomes free agent, surgery for Baumler (updated)

The Orioles have created another opening on their 40-man roster as part of their early offseason business.

Pitcher David Hess cleared waivers today and entered the free agent market, according to an industry source.

Hess, 27, made three relief appearances this summer and allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings. He's 4-20 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.466 WHIP in parts of three major league seasons covering 190 1/3 innings.

Young pitching prospects Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer and Bruce Zimmermann have moved past Hess, who came to the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Tennessee Technological University.

Thumbnail image for David-Hess-Fires-vs-SF-Orange-Sidebar.jpgHess made 19 starts as a rookie in 2018 and 14 among 23 appearances the following summer. He tossed 6 1/3 hitless innings on April 1, 2019 in Toronto.

The Orioles had 36 players on their 40 man roster earlier this week, but catcher Bryan Holaday became a free agent yesterday. Outfielder Trey Mancini, infielder Richie Martin and pitcher Kohl Stewart must be reinstated from the 60-day injured list, which puts them back on the 40-man.

Plenty of other moves are coming before the Orioles must set their roster next month for the Rule 5 draft. A handful of players are going to be protected.

Meanwhile, an impressive stint for Orioles 2020 draft pick Carter Baumler in fall instructional camp ended with an elbow injury and surgery.

Baumler, a fifth-round selection out of Dowling Catholic High School in Iowa, tore his ulnar collateral ligament and underwent a Tommy John procedure yesterday in Texas. Sources confirmed the injury.

Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery. He also repaired pitcher Josh Rogers' left elbow last summer.

Director of player development Matt Blood praised the five draft picks at camp earlier this month, a group that also included shortstops Jordan Westburg and Anthony Servideo, outfielder Hudson Haskin and third baseman Coby Mayo.

"Carter Baumler is an advanced high school kid. Really good athlete, delivery, demeanor and above-average stuff. I saw him the other day for the first time against hitters and it was really exciting," Blood said.

"There have been no disappointments with those guys."

Now comes a surgery that's going to sideline Baumler for 12-18 months.

The Orioles gave Baumler, 18, a $1.5 million bonus in order to have him relinquish his commitment to Texas Christian University. The slot value was $422,300.

"Baumler is a projectable, athletic pitcher who no one thought was going to be signable and the Orioles got him," MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis told MASNsports.com after the draft.

Brad Ciolek, the Orioles' supervisor of domestic scouting operations, offered the local media a scouting report on Baumler back in June.

"He's another excellent athlete with a quick arm," Ciolek said. "His velo over the summer was 90 to 92 (mph) and it's ticked up 92 to 94. He's got a curveball with 11-5 shape and we think it's going to profile as a plus offering for him. And his changeup has made tremendous strides since the summer."

Baumler was the only pitcher taken by the Orioles in the draft. MLBPipeline.com rates him as the organizations' No. 18 prospect. Baseball America excluded him from the Top 30.

MLB.com first reported the Baumler surgery.

Update: The Orioles announced that Hess, pitchers Branden Kline and Kohl Stewart and infielder Andrew Velazquez cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. The 40-man roster holds 32 players.

Hess is a free agent because his minor league contract expired. That's how it's been explained to me.

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