Orioles add 5 prospects to 40-man roster

Today was the deadline for organizations to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to their respective 40-man rosters.

Before we talk about the different prospects that were added by the Orioles and the prospects who are now Rule 5 Draft eligible, let’s understand what the Rule 5 Draft is.

Basically, the Rule 5 Draft occurs in December, and it allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season.

Not every club will make a selection, but those that do pick a player must pay $100,000 to the club from which said player was selected. Rule 5 Draft picks are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 26-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season.

Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him.

The Orioles walked into today with six open 40-man roster spots, and they used five spots to save top prospects in the system and kept one spot open to select a player in the Rule 5 Draft.

Let’s discuss who was added and who the Orioles allowed to be eligible for the draft:

40-MAN ROSTER ADDITIONS:

Grayson Rodriguez

The future ace of the Orioles was protected today. The 2018 11th overall pick and O’s No. 2 prospect (MLB’s No. 4 overall prospect) had a stellar 2022 season.

With conversations of making the MLB roster just before having an unfortunate injury, Grayson looked to be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball.

Rodriguez had a 6-2 record in 17 games started, with a 2.62 ERA in 75.2 innings pitched. He had 28 walks and punched out 109 batters while holding batters to a .176 average.

Grayson will head into the 2023 season with a spring training invite and a possibility of making the Opening Day roster.

Drew Rom

The 2018 fourth-round pick was protected today, and he is someone with a boatload of potential.

The Orioles No. 19 prospect did not have the best statistical season, but his deception and movement on his pitches have skyrocketed.

For the 2022 season, Rom went 8-3 with a 4.43 ERA over 120 innings pitched, walking 47 batters and striking out 144.

Now, Rom is mostly known for his 11-1 record in 2021, when he produced a 3.18 ERA. So technically, this season was a “down year.” But if this was a down year, then sign us up.

Seth Johnson

He might be injured, but he will make a difference soon enough for Baltimore. The Orioles protected the No. 10 prospect in their system in right-handed pitcher Seth Johnson.

The 2019 40th overall draft pick was originally a Tampa Bay Ray but was traded this past season as a part of the three-team deal that sent Trey Mancini to the World-Series-winning Houston Astros.

Johnson is currently dealing with the effects of Tommy John surgery and will most likely miss most, if not all, of the 2023 season. However, he has a lot of potential, and Orioles GM Mike Elias got him for a reason.

Noah Denoyer

The 2019 undrafted free agent, right-handed pitcher Noah Denoyer, who really upped his game during the AFL season, was added to the 40-man roster today.

Denoyer had a decent 2022 when he had a 5-2 record with a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 innings pitched. He walked 17 batters and struck out 99, holding batters to a .194 average and having a WHIP under one.

Denoyer has a chance to climb through the minor leagues quickly, as his potential is through the roof, knowing how far he has come.

Joey Ortiz

The only saved position player is a guy that some of us love more than others, but he’s going to make an impact in the O’s future one way or another.

The 2019 fourth-round pick had a season like no other. Slashing a clean .284/.349/.477 with a .826 OPS, while having 35 doubles and 19 home runs, Joey Ortiz was one of the best hitters in the Orioles organization.

Ortiz is an infielder, so it leaves him at a slight disadvantage with how stacked the middle infield is for Baltimore and with the team potentially looking for a superstar middle infielder in free agency.

Ortiz could be a late season call-up, but he also does have the possibility of making the 2023 Opening Day roster out of spring training.

NON-PROTECTED PLAYERS:

With having limited roster spots, the Orioles had to decide on players that would not make the 40-man roster and become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

Here are the players that could have spent their last season in the Orioles organization:

  • Pitcher Xavier Moore – Traded to Baltimore in 2019 (cash considerations)
  • Pitcher Ignacio Feliz – Selected by Baltimore in 2020 Rule 5 Draft
  • Pitcher Easton Lucas – Traded to Baltimore in 2019 (Jonathan Villar)
  • Pitcher Garrett Stallings – Traded to Baltimore in 2020 (JosĂ© Iglesias)
  • Pitcher Ryan Conroy – Drafted by Baltimore in 2018 (Round 8)
  • Pitcher Conner Loeprich – Traded to Baltimore in 2020 (cash considerations)
  • Pitcher Nolan Hoffman – Selected by Baltimore in 2021 Rule 5 Draft
  • Pitcher Nick Richmond – Signed by Baltimore in 2022
  • Pitcher Griffin McLarty – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 8)
  • Pitcher Morgan McSweeney – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 17)
  • Pitched Houston Roth – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 29)
  • Pitcher Cole Uvila – Selected by Baltimore in 2021 Rule 5 Draft
  • Pitcher Tyler Burch – Traded to Baltimore in 2021 (Freddy Galvis)
  • Pitcher Adam Stauffer – Drafted by Baltimore in 2017 (Round 19)
  • Pitcher Zach Peek – Traded to Baltimore in 2019 (Dylan Bundy)
  • Pitcher Kyle Brnovich – Traded to Baltimore in 2019 (Dylan Bundy)
  • Catcher Maverick Handley – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 6)
  • Catcher Cody Roberts – Drafted by Baltimore in 2018 (Round 11)
  • Infielder Cadyn Grenier – Drafted by Baltimore in 2018 (Round 1)
  • Infielder Adam Hall – Drafted by Baltimore in 2017 (Round 2)
  • Infielder Greg Cullen – Traded to Baltimore in 2020 (Tommy Milone)
  • Infielder Toby Welk – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 21)
  • Infielder Andrew Daschbach – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 11)
  • Infielder Luis Valdez – Signed as International Free Agent in 2019
  • Infielder Isaac De Leon – Traded to Baltimore in 2020
  • Infielder Noelberth Romero – Traded to Baltimore in 2019 (Andrew Cashner)
  • Outfielder Robert Neustrom – Drafted by Baltimore in 2018 (Round 5)
  • Outfielder Shayne Fontana – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 23)
  • Outfielder Zach Watson – Drafted by Baltimore in 2019 (Round 3)
  • Outfielder Mishael Deson – Traded to Baltimore in 2020
  • Outfielder Isaac Bellony – Signed as International Free Agent in 2018
  • Outfielder Davis Tavárez – Signed as International Free Agent in 2017

The Rule 5 Draft will be held on December 7 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. The 40-man roster is now set at 39.

Do you agree with the additions to the 40-man roster? Who do you think should have been added but didn’t? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Zack’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @Zackattack8211

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