May 24, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Baltimore Orioles Alexi Casilla (12) cannot throw out Toronto Blue Jays Munenori Kawasaki (not pictured) in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Boston’s loss of Michael Almanzar during last month’s Rule 5 Draft didn’t spark much discussion, but a number of minor league signings by the Baltimore Orioles could make it much more difficult for the team to keep Almanzar on their active roster for the full season. If Baltimore does look to move him off the roster they’ll first need to offer him back to the Red Sox for a mere $25,000.
Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun discusses the Orioles’ recent moves and how they may end up impacting the team’s active roster, focusing largely on the team’s deals with Delmon Young and Alexi Casilla. Both veterans with significant experience, the chances are high that one or both could end up making the team’s roster out of Spring Training. Each signed a minor league deal with the club that presumably contains an opt out clause if the player isn’t on the active roster by a certain date, which could ultimately be another factor in how Baltimore goes about their roster makeup.
As Encina writes, the team also has a number of infield options already slated to come into camp in the coming weeks. Casilla could end up being the most logical choice to fill the team’s utility role, assuming that Ryan Flaherty takes over as the starting second baseman. Add in Jemile Weeks, Cord Phelps, Jonathan Schoop, and Ivan DeJesus Jr. and there could be some stiff competition for the last spot on the roster. Almanzar could likely find himself as the odd man out.
The 23 year old Almanzar has primarily been a third baseman in Boston’s minor league system, though he has seen some time at first base as well. He spent the 2013 season with Double-A Portland, batting .268/.328/.432 in 561 PA – adding 16 HR and 29 2B. He’s yet to demonstrate any standout tools in the minors (the 16 HR were a career best) and he’s hit a cumulative .250/.302/.373 in 2,707 PA over the past six seasons. He’s likely little more than roster filler for the Red Sox at this point, barring a big turnaround.