Orioles re-sign Mason Williams, 11 others to minor league contracts - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles re-sign Mason Williams, 11 others to minor league contracts

The Orioles re-signed outfielder Mason Williams to a minor league contract on Tuesday. Williams, who hit .267 with two RBIs in 11 games for the Orioles last season, had his season ended early after running into the outfield wall on September 17.

Williams, who could compete for a reserve outfielders job during spring training, signed with the Orioles at the start of the season, and hit .308 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs with an .848 OPS for Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles also re-signed eight players who were in their organization in 2019 to minor league contracts.

One, infielder Jose Rondon, was acquired just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline and played in one game for the Orioles before he was outrighted to Norfolk.

Rondon has hit .201 in 106 major league games with the Orioles, San Diego and the Chicago White Sox. Along with newly acquired Pat Valaika, Rondon could compete for a reserve infielder’s job.

Also re-signed was right-handed pitcher Cristian Alvarado, who’s been in the Orioles organization since 2012. Alvarado had a 2.66 ERA and 13 saves in 40 games for Double-A Bowie.

Left-handed pitcher Hunter Cervenka, who was 1-0 with a 4.69 ERA in 73 games with Atlanta and Miami in 2016 and 2017, was re-signed. Cervenka had a 2.25 ERA in nine late-season games with Norfolk.

Catcher Martin Cervenka, who is no relation, who had an injury-marred season in the minors, is back for his third season in the Orioles organization.

First baseman Ryan Ripken, son of Cal Ripken Jr. is back for his fourth season. In his first Double-A experience, Ripken hit .282 in 30 games for the Baysox.


Ripken’s Bowie teammate, Jesmuel Valentin, has also been re-signed. The infielder, who hit .177 in 46 games for Philadelphia in 2018, is the son of longtime major leaguer Jose Valentin.

Right-handed pitcher Francisco Jimenez, who joined the Orioles organization in 2012, and had a 3.12 ERA with Low-A Frederick, Bowie and Norfolk, also returns.

Catcher Daniel Fajardo, who also debuted in the Orioles organization in 2012, is back. Fajardo threw out 32 percent of runners attempting to steal for Low-A Delmarva and Frederick.

Three players from outside the organization were also signed to minor league contracts. Left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny was 2-0 with a 4.41 ERA in 18 games with the Chicago Cubs from 2016-2018 when Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was a coach.

Zastryzny had a 5.58 last season in Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Infielder Angelo Mora was a teammate of Zastryzny’s last season and hit .264 with Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Also signed was infielder Malquin Canelo, who hit .262 as a shortstop, second baseman and centerfielder with the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A Lehigh Valley team in 2019.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Hallbe62

    November 26, 2019 at 11:40 am


    • Camden Brooks

      November 26, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      Wrong site.

      • WorldlyView

        November 26, 2019 at 11:51 pm

        Disagree. We need a winner to cheer on.
        Meanwhile, let us all pray that these highly talented minor league signees don’t impede the quick rise to major league stardom of those two Dominican summer league teenagers we got from the Bosox.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 26, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Let’s get real here Rich …. how in the wide wide world of sports can you possibly expect the likes of Jose Rondon to compete with THE Pat Valaika for a role as the utility infielder?

  3. CalsPals

    November 26, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    5.58 ERA & we sign him…seriously…go O’s…

  4. deqalt

    November 26, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Bring up Ryan Ripken and let him play!!!!

    • CalsPals

      November 26, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Absolutely…probably trade him to the giants & he’ll play like his dad, since he is a legacy O, they won’t do anything with him…go O’s…

      • Eastern Sho Joe

        November 27, 2019 at 6:47 am

        I feel so bad for Rich. Everyday he writes an article, and everyday the same people who claim to be O’s fans bash something that he writes about them.

        “They’ll never win as long as Angelos owns the team.” Well come back when he sells it.

        “Elias should spend money to put a competitive team on the field.” “He should promote minor league players and give them experience.” Maybe these keyboard experts should spend their time playing in a fantasy league and make some money when they draft the perfect players.

        Come on, does anyone really think that Elias would’ve left Houston, right in the middle of everything coming to fruition after several years of last place and come to the O’s unless he knew he would be able to win? Does anyone think that Sig and others would’ve jumped on board with him if they didn’t think so too?

        Yes, we’re facing another 100 loss season but he has stated countless times that it would be this way. I just wish people who say they are O’s fans would give the guy a chance or find something else to hate on.

        • VegasOriole

          November 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

          Right there with you Joe. The same guys here are always critical, they cant stand the rebuild. I love reading about the Orioles, and appreciate the articles, Rich.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          November 27, 2019 at 1:49 pm

          Dude … nobody’s bashing Rich or his writing. They’re bashing a franchise that PURPOSEFULLY puts a losing product on the field in the guise of ‘rebuilding’. I like what they’re (Elias) doing …. all except for the intentionally losing part of it. You don’t have to draft #1 every year .. you just have to draft wisely.

          Tearing the system down and rebuilding while emphasizing the importance of farm system. Restructuring the scouting dept … putting money into the Hispanic talent pool … I’ll even live with analytics gobble-d-gook for gosh sake … but the LOSING on purpose? It’s unnecessary, and THAT my friend of the feathers is what I and others are bashing. NOT Rich. We ALL love the O’s here. Nobody hates the coaches or players. Nobody hates on the new management. Nobody hates the ownership … errr … well maybe of us do … but you get my point don’t you? Well all love the team, but just because you’re telling everybody to be prepared to lose 100 for 2 or 3 years doesn’t make it any more palatable. We have a right to complain.

          • VegasOriole

            November 27, 2019 at 4:24 pm

            I said I enjoy the updates on the team. Nothing about bashing Rick, dude. Most of the comments are negative, and critical of the rebuild. We ARE going to lose 100 games. I will take that over signing a bunch of free agents(like the reds) and lose an extra 15 games while not wasting resources. Dont like why Mountcastle isn’t up? Me too! I think the best players should be on the field at all times.
            But complain about the CBA then, and how service time is structured CURRENTLY. The team is going in a great direction under Elias and crew. Losing sucks and yes, you have a right to complain! I hate it too, but I have hope now with Elias. I dont like how we have to lose 100 games, but its part of rebuilding CORRECTLY. I wish we were like the Yankees and our rebuild still fielded a competitive team. But we didn’t have a deep system, and didnt pull off some amazing trades. This is what Elias said it was, we have to build from the ground up. And I like how the organization as a WHOLE is developing. We have some great pitching prospects. Hell, how many pitchers have we developed in the past 25 years that are at least a number 1 or number 2 starter? That right there gets me going!

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            November 27, 2019 at 7:51 pm

            Yeah and I believe in building from the ground up as well. And I agree they shouldn’t go buying a bunch of fee agents either … but why do those things have to be coupled with “HAVING to lose a hundred games” to use your words. In my opinion, you really don’t ‘have’ to. And you can rebuild with jettisoning every player that’s going to make 7 figures a year. (All except Crush of course)

            BTW … just read where they waved Villar. Really? Bwwwaaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaaa.

            Peace out my friend, Good to read we have friends in Sin City!

    • CalsPals

      November 27, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Part of the reason Elias left Houston was probably the impending crap they’re dealing with, again, Houston is not the clean cut all American franchise they were painted to be before Elias was hired…go O’s…

      • Eastern Sho Joe

        November 27, 2019 at 9:50 am

        You wrote, “Part of the reason Elias left Houston was probably…”

        Is the “probably” based on something from a close source or is this just your opinion?

        We can all speculate Elias’ motivations for coming to Baltimore, but so far he’s done everything he’s said he was going to do when he came. As long as he does that, he’ll have my support.

        I’m from Crisfield, on the Eastern Shore, so I follow the Shorebirds pretty close. I can tell you first-hand that there has been big changes over the last year and the players are loving it. The pitchers are raving about the focus on spin-rate, and something that really made me feel good was during one game in Salisbury when I look over and Elias is standing there. I thought to myself how he’s stressed that a primary goal is to “build an elite pipeline,” and that all of the best generals have led from the front.

        To your comment about the Astros organization, I don’t put them on a pedestal or anything like that. I have looked back to articles that were written by Astros writers from 2012-15 – when they were losing 100+ games per season – along with the comments that followed. Sadly, they were all almost exactly like what many are posting about the O’s now. They were hating on Elias then too. lol.

        Now, if Houston did cheat, and it’s proven, all involved should be punished, including Elias if he was involved.

        For now, I’m excited about the Orioles future, moreso than I have been in decades. I remember Memorial Stadium, I’ve been there and saw Earl flipping out, everyone on their feet yelling “EDDIE – EDDIE” and then he hit it out.

        I had hope a few years back but everyone knew we had a small window. Elias has made it clear, he wants to win, he has a plan and so far, he’s following it. He deserves our support.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 27, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Joe, don’t feel bad for me. Occasionally we get to hear from a new voice, such as yours, and I hope you’ll comment more often.

      • Eastern Sho Joe

        November 27, 2019 at 9:59 am

        Thanks for the welcome Rich. I’ve been a long time reader, but I try not to comment on reader’s posts.

        As you can see, I’m fairly long-winded and it rarely makes any difference.

        If you ever come down to the Eastern Shore look me up, I get crabs and oysters for nothing and am always happy to share with fellow Bird Lovers.

    • Camden Brooks

      November 27, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      I agree with Joe 100%. Everyone on here always seems to know more than any GM or Manager…

  5. deqalt

    November 27, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Okay for the record we are all huge Orioles fans or we would not be here. We are all also huge Rich fans and this site!! The critical nature and sometimes humor is frustration of losing which should be normal. No one likes it regardless if a great future is coming! Not a ton to be positive about, but that time is coming

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