The Orioles outrighted four players off their 40-man roster yesterday to reduce the total to 35, as they continue to perform one of the more important offseason tasks leading into the Rule 5 draft in December.
In addition to catcher Austin Wynns, whose disposition was reported yesterday, the Orioles also outrighted pitchers Thomas Eshelman and Konner Wade and infielder Pat Valaika, per the transactions page at MLB.com.
The club hasn’t announced the moves.
Valaika was eligible again for arbitration and MLBTradeRumors.com projected his 2022 salary at $1.3 million. He agreed to a split contract last winter that paid $875,000 if he was in the majors.
The Orioles outrighted Valaika in August after claiming infielder Jorge Mateo off waivers from the Padres and selected his contract the following month. He appeared in 90 games and batted .201/.250/.290 with eight doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs after hitting .277 with eight homers and a .791 OPS in 52 games the previous summer.
Eshelman was re-signed to a minor league deal last winter and went 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA and 1.590 WHIP in nine games (six starts) covering 27 2/3 innings.
Wade, signed as a minor league free agent in February, made seven relief appearances with the Orioles and allowed 16 runs and 23 hits in 12 1/3 innings. He walked five batters and struck out 11.
All four players passed through waivers, can enter the free agent market and seek major league deals, with the possibility of returning to the Orioles on minor league contracts.
Five Orioles are on the 60-day injured list and must be returned to the 40-man roster: Mateo, pitchers Keegan Akin, Hunter Harvey and Jorge López and outfielder DJ Stewart. Starter Matt Harvey also is on the 60-day IL, but he’s a pending free agent.
Reliever Fernando Abad will come off the 40-man roster when he enters free agency.