Orioles make no additions to 40-man roster ahead of Rule 5 draft protection deadline

On the day of the deadline to protect prospects from being selected in the Rule 5 draft, the Orioles made more subtractions from their 40-man roster than additions to it.

Ahead of Tuesday evening’s deadline, Baltimore added no minor leaguers to its 40-man roster, meaning all eligible players will be available to other teams in next month’s Rule 5 draft. None of the Orioles’ top 30 prospects, according to Baseball America, were left exposed.

Instead, Baltimore’s only roster moves Tuesday were outrighting utility player Terrin Vavra and left-hander Tucker Davidson to Triple-A Norfolk, leaving four openings on the 40-man roster. Vavra made the Orioles’ opening day roster, batting .245 with no extra-base hits in 27 major league games, but missed much of the year with a right shoulder injury. Davidson was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals last month and agreed to terms on a contract last week that established his salary for any time spent in the minors.

Generally, players drafted out of high school or signed as international amateurs in 2019 or drafted out of college in 2020 are eligible for this year’s Rule 5 draft. Held at the end of the winter meetings, the draft allows teams to acquire players who aren’t on other organizations’ 40-man rosters, though selecting teams must keep those players in the majors all season or otherwise offer them back to their original club. Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander and right-hander Tyler Wells are former Rule 5 selections.

The Orioles had few players they needed to protect because most significant players who would have been eligible for the first time this winter are already on the 40-man roster, including Gunnar Henderson, Heston Kjerstad and Jordan Westburg. Baltimore’s fifth-round pick in 2019 out of a Texas high school, infielder Darell Hernaiz, was added Tuesday to the 40-man roster of the Oakland Athletics, who acquired Hernaiz for pitchers Cole Irvin and Kyle Virbitsky last offseason.

The most notable player the the Orioles left unprotected was outfielder Hudson Haskin, their second-round pick in 2020 who underwent season-ending surgery on his left hip in July. Right-handers Jean Pinto, acquired from the Los Angeles Angelos for shortstop José Iglesias in December 2020, and Ryan Watson, an undrafted free agent after the 2020 shortened draft who was Baltimore’s 2022 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, are also eligible for the first time.


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