The Orioles have made their first trade of the 2023 calendar year, as they have acquired first baseman/outfielder Ryan O’Hearn in exchange for cash considerations.
O’Hearn, 29, was drafted in the eighth round of the 2014 draft to the Kansas City Royals out of Sam Houston State. He would make his MLB debut in 2018 when his first career hit would be a home run against the Chicago White Sox.
The big lefty would spend all of his career with the Royals up until this trade. His career slash line stands at .219/.293/.390 with a .683 OPS. He has 210 total hits, 40 doubles, five triples and 38 home runs.
O’Hearn’s 2022 season would not be anything spectacular. In 67 games, he slashed .239/.290/.321 with a .611 OPS and would have 32 hits, six doubles, one triple, one home run and 16 RBIs.
O’Hearn fills the Orioles’ want of a left-handed bench bat, who can spend time at first base, corner outfield and can always slot in as the designated hitter.
The Orioles will pay O’Hearn $1.4 million this season, as he will be only one of 11 players on the O’s roster who will make more than $1 million if he makes the Opening Day roster.
O’Hearn was designated for assignment by Kansas City to make room for former Oriole Jordan Lyles on their 40-man roster. He has one minor league option left.
With the trade being made, the Orioles had to designate someone for assignment themselves to make room for O’Hearn, and they decided on 25-year-old right-hander Chris Vallimont.
Vallimont became an Orioles on May 25, 2022, when he was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. He would never reach higher than Triple-A during the 2022 season and is yet to make his MLB debut.
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