The Orioles didn’t protect any eligible players in next month’s Rule 5 draft by today’s 6 p.m. deadline. The announcement was made a few minutes ago.
Their 40-man roster holds at 36 players after infielder Terrin Vavra and left-hander Tucker Davidson cleared outright waivers this afternoon and were assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.
The deadline is Friday to tender contracts to players who are eligible for arbitration. The Orioles have 17 pending, which could create more openings.
Among the minor leaguers left unprotected today are outfielder Hudson Haskin, catcher Maverick Handley and pitchers Ryan Watson, Jean Pinto, Garrett Stallings, Kyle Brnovich, Zach Peek and Trey McGough. Watson was the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2022 and McGough made this year’s Arizona Fall League Fall Stars team.
MLB Pipeline ranks Haskin as the No. 17 prospect in the system, the only player in the top 30 eligible to be drafted. He seemed the most likely to be added to the 40-man.
Haskin has appeared in 225 games in three minor league seasons and batted .272/.376/.435 with 49 doubles, seven triples, 23 home runs, 118 RBIs and 35 stolen bases in 966 plate appearances.
Playing in only 33 games this year between High-A Aberdeen, Double-A Bowie and Norfolk, Haskin slashed .287/.394/.444 with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs, 20 RBIs and eight steals in nine attempts.
Haskin, who turns 25 in December, was chosen in the second round of the truncated 2020 draft out of Tulane University. His professional career has been slowed by multiple injuries, including a left hip impingement this year that required season-ending surgery in July. He also was twice sidelined with soreness in his left hamstring while playing for Bowie and Norfolk.
A thumb fracture ended his 2021 season in August.
Handley was a sixth-round pick in 2019 out of Stanford University. He’s batted .223/.341/.350 in four minor league seasons, with 35 doubles, two triples, 21 home runs and 121 RBIs in 954 plate appearances. He’s also thrown out 41 percent of runners attempting to steal.
The Orioles put Handley on their taxi squad multiple times this season. He appeared in 69 games with Norfolk and batted .236/.373/.329 with eight doubles and four homers in 264 plate appearances.
Vavra made the Opening Day roster, went 12-for-49 in 27 games with no extra-base hits and was optioned twice, the last time on June 6. He sustained an injury to his right shoulder that prevented him from playing for Norfolk after June 14.
An injury rehab assignment with Single-A Delmarva ended after two games Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
The Orioles selected Davidson off waivers from the Royals on Oct. 25. He signed a contract last week for the 2024 season.