With spring training starting next week and the club’s first pitchers and catchers workout set for a week from today in Sarasota, the Orioles added another infielder to fill their 40-man roster.
Venezuelan-born Livan Soto, recently designated for assignment by the Angels, was claimed on waivers today by the Orioles to fill their 40-man.
Soto, 23, has hit better in the majors in limited time than he has during a six-year career in the minors. He also has two options remaining.
The lefty batter went just 2-for-9 (.222) with the Angels last year but hit .400 (22-for-55) during the 2022 season over 18 games. He got a call-up in mid-September 2022 to make his major league debut.
So over 22 major league games in parts of the last two seasons, he has hit .375/.414/.531/.946. On the farm last season between Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .237/.342/.358/.700 in 110 games.
Scouting reports consider Soto a defense-first middle infielder who has shown some improvement in his bat the last couple of years. He makes good contact but with little power as a 6-foot, 160-pound player. He was considered one of the Angels' top defensive infielders on their farm.
Soto was one of the top signings of the 2016 international signing period and got a $1 million bonus from the Braves. He was ranked as the Angels’ No. 16 prospect in 2018 and was in their top 30 every year through 2023, between No. 16 and No. 26.
Soto made his pro debut for Atlanta in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2017, but after the season was one of 12 Braves prospects declared free agents by Major League Baseball as punishment for Atlanta violating international signing rules. The Angels signed Soto the first day he was eligible to sign with a new club for $850,000.
In the majors, he has made 16 starts at shortstop, two at second base and one at third base. In his minor league career, he made 317 starts at shortstop with 125 at second base, 31 at third base and one in center field.
In the last two days, the Orioles added two players that hit lefty and can play multiple positions. They traded for Nick Maton from the Tigers yesterday, acquiring him for cash considerations.