Week of January 13, 2020:
Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to the second edition of Monday Thoughts! Last week, we talked about the Orioles still not having their veteran middle infielder. Well, they found him (about 15 minutes after my posting of Edition 1), and his name is Jose Iglesias! Let’s start this week’s edition with my thoughts on the signing!
Shortly after I posted the debut edition of Monday Thoughts, which included a section talking about the Orioles’ link to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, Twitter was lighting up with the news of the signing of veteran shortstop Jose Iglesias.
The Orioles and GM Mike Elias got their man. Iglesias, mainly known for his defensive capabilities, had a solid 2019 campaign with the Cincinnati Reds. He tallied a .288/.318/.407 slash line in 146 games played, with a career-high 11 home runs and 59 RBI. The former All-Star posted a .980 fielding percentage, while also committing nine errors.
I LOVE this signing! The first reason is because it allows Richie Martin valuable time to develop more at Triple-A Norfolk. Now that his Rule 5 obligations are over, Martin will likely begin the season in the minors.
The second reason is because it gives young pitchers a great glove to work with. I know if I were a young pitcher in the majors, I’d want a gold-glove-caliber shortstop behind me, making critical plays when they matter most.
The third reason is because it’s a super club-friendly deal. Iglesias will make $2.5 million this season, along with a club option for the 2021 season around $3 million. If the Orioles choose to do so, they could also flip Iglesias at the July trade deadline if he is performing well enough for a contender to notice.
All-in-all, this was such a smart signing by Mike Elias and the Orioles organization. Hopefully Iglesias puts up the same type of numbers he did last season and gives the Orioles options during this rebuilding phase.
We Have A Utility Man:
Late Friday night, the Orioles claimed 23-year-old infielder Richard Ureña off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Let me tell you, I think the team has found their utility man of the future!
Ureña was linked to a possible trade to the Orioles back in 2015, but the deal never went through. But with Ureña being just 23 and under team control until 2026, it’s clear that he can be the team’s next Ryan Flaherty.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have Ureña on a rebuilding team than Pat Valaika. Let’s keep a close eye on him during spring training.
What To Do With Lord Mountcastle:
There is no doubt that Ryan Mountcastle is knocking on the door to the major leagues, but when should he make his debut?
This is a topic that I’ve thought about since last season, and rightfully so. The 2019 International League MVP proved to us the he can perform at a high level. Does he need to see Triple-A again in 2020?
In my opinion, it depends on how well he performs in spring training. If Mountcastle does well, he could and should make the 26-man roster. With Austin Hays locking the center field position, having Mountcastle in Baltimore will revamp this team and give fans something to look forward to.
Only time will tell, and Mike Elias will ultimately do the right thing.
That’s going to be it for this week’s edition of Monday Thoughts! Let me know in the comments your opinions on all the recent moves! Make sure you follow The Baltimore Battery on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all the Orioles news and updates you desire!