Orioles DFA Franco and option Martin among series of moves

The Orioles are making changes to their infield before resuming their homestand Tuesday night.

According to a source, the team is designating Maikel Franco for assignment and optioning Richie Martin to Triple-A Norfolk.

In corresponding moves, Jahmai Jones and Kelvin Gutiérrez will be recalled from Norfolk. Jones can become the 54th player used by the Orioles this season.

Thumbnail image for Franco-Throws-Orange-Sidebar.jpgFranco signed a one-year deal on March 16 that guaranteed $800,000 and included incentives and a trade bonus. He appeared in 104 games and batted .210/.253/.355 with 22 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 403 plate appearances.

A disappointing season included a sprained ankle on June 30 in Houston that cost him three weeks of the season.

Franco is 11-for-61 this month.

Martin recovered from a fractured left wrist sustain with Triple-A Norfolk, joined the Orioles on Aug. 2 and went 10-for-44 with a double and home run in 15 games. His second multi-hit game was achieved yesterday against the Braves.

He’s committed three errors and was spared a fourth on Saturday.

Jones came to the Orioles from the Angels, who are in Baltimore for the upcoming three-game series, in the Alex Cobb trade on Feb. 2. He’s been working on his defense at second base, and his arrival likely pushes Jorge Mateo into a regular role at shortstop. Gutiérrez and Ramón Urías can play third base.

Jones, 24, hasn’t appeared in the majors since Sept. 27. He went 3-for-7 in three games.

During his 69 games with Norfolk, Jones batted .238/.329/.417 with nine doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 35 RBIs over 290 plate appearances. He sustained an oblique injury earlier in the summer.

Gutiérrez was optioned after appearing in eight games and going 4-for-23 with two RBIs and nine strikeouts. The Orioles selected his contract from the Royals on July 3 and he showed off a strong arm at third base.

The Orioles also claimed reliever Conner Greene off waivers today from the Dodgers and assigned him to Norfolk, per a source. He replaces Franco on the 40-man roster

The Athletic first reported the move.

Greene allowed six runs and seven hits with five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings in three games before the Orioles designated him for assignment. He tossed two scoreless innings with the Dodgers, who DFA’d him after signing Shane Greene.

The Orioles bullpen for now remains untouched. Hunter Harvey stays on his injury rehab assignment with Norfolk and could make another appearance before returning to the majors.

Update: The Orioles announced the moves with Franco, Jones, Martin and Greene. Recalling Gutiérrez apparently will happen on Tuesday.

Jones is wearing No. 37.

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