Elias says DJ Stewart's surgery went well; Jones chooses Japan; Gausman signs with Giants - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Elias says DJ Stewart’s surgery went well; Jones chooses Japan; Gausman signs with Giants

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SAN DIEGO—Orioles outfielder DJ Stewart underwent surgery on his right ankle in late October, and general manger Mike Elias said that the surgery went well.

“He’s going to have an abbreviated spring training,” Elias said on Tuesday.

“The exact amount of time he’s going to lose is still a little TBD, and also whether that will bleed into April and whether he will have to hold back and stay at the complex or go on a little mini-rehab assignment or something, that’s going to be TBD.”

Stewart injured the ankle in Arlington, Texas on June 5 and what the Orioles hoped would be his first prolonged stint in the major leagues was cut short.

He missed two months because of the ankle injury and finished the season with a .238 average. Stewart had four home runs and 15 RBIs.

Elias discussed Stewart’s recovery with agent Scott Boras, who represent the 26-year-old outfielder.

“We wanted to make sure he’s able to stay in shape and lift and work out to the best of his ability with the ankle healing,” Elias said.

Stewart’s injury doesn’t appear to affect the Orioles’ plans.

“I look at it more that some of our internal options at the corner outfield might have … a little more of an audition in spring training because of the at-bats DJ will be missing,” Elias said.

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“Whether that’s Dwight Smith, whether that’s [Ryan] Mountcastle to the degree which we put him in the corner outfield. Obviously, [Trey] Mancini doesn’t need to win a job. He’s a corner outfielder, [Anthony] Santander. We have plenty that deserve competition. Yusniel Diaz is entering that mix and will continue to be a big part of spring training.

“There are guys that deserve those at-bats that we feel we can use them on. If we do a minor league spring training outfielder, I would wager that it would probably be more of a center field, glove man, but you never know. If the right deal comes along, we’ll look at corner guys, too.”

Elias said that Mountcastle would play more left field in spring training, but also would play right, first and third base.

“He’s in a little bit of a weird spot right now where he can play at a number of positions, but he hasn’t really mastered any one of those,” Elias said.

‘We’ve got to figure out which way to steer that in the early going because we want to still continue to play in the infield, play in the outfield, but we also need to ramp up his outfield exposure quickly.”

Orioles need bullpen help: While most of the attention has focused on the Orioles’ need for starting pitchers, they also need bullpen help.

Oriole starters had a 5.57 ERA in 2019, and the bullpen had a 5.79 ERA.

“I think we’re looking for talent there,” Elias said. “I think that a bullpen move from us would probably more likely be [a non-roster signing] because we do have some young bullpen talent. It’s not the case you need a certain number of relievers to soak up the innings like you do with the starters.

“I think we would concentrate our resources more on the rotation and let it have a trickle-down effect on the bullpen.”

Quiet on the rumor front: With little money earmarked to spend on free-agent signings, the Orioles have barely been mentioned in rumors this week.

One of the few mentions was that the Orioles are one of four teams showing interest in Jose Peraza, a 25-year-old infielder who wasn’t offered a contract by Cincinnati last week.

Peraza, who hit .239 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 141 games for the Reds in 2019, plays second base and shortstop. He also plays left and right field.

Infielder Jonathan Villar, who was dealt to Miami on December 2 in a cost-cutting move, stole 40 bases in 2019. Peraza stole 67 bases from 2016-2018 but only seven last season.

Peraza’s analytics aren’t strong. He has a lifetime .5 WAR. In 2019, he made $2.775,000.

Adam Jones goes to Japan: Former Oriole centerfielder Adam Jones made official his move to Japan when he signed a two-year contract with an option for 2022.

According to The Athletic, Jones’ contract with the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Baseball League is worth $8 million and could be worth $15.5 million if all incentives are met.

“Well it’s that time in my career and life my family and I hades to make a HUGE decision, and so that is what we have done!!! MLB has been mazing to myself and my family. We had an incredible run,” Jones wrote on Twitter.

Kevin Gausman signs, too: Some Oriole fans hoped that starting pitcher Kevin Gausman, who wasn’t offered a contract by the Cincinnati Reds, would re-sign with the Orioles.

Gausman signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the San Francisco Giants with up to $1 million in performance bonuses

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    December 11, 2019 at 7:59 am

    After a year & now knowing his players, he says Trey is a corner outfielder, too bad, put him BACK at 1st & let Mountcastle play OF…go O’s…

  2. Phil770

    December 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

    In Trey’s 3 seasons with the O’s, the preponderance of games played have been corner OF. Occasional 1B.

    • CalsPals

      December 11, 2019 at 9:23 am

      That doesn’t make him an outfielder any more than Wilkerson is a pitcher, not his best position…go O’s…

  3. Bman

    December 11, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Let’s make some moves today! I’m anticipating them signing an middle infielder veteran, and probably picking up a starting pitcher in the rule five draft, probably one of these guys: Sharp, Aiken, Brown, or Sheffield.

  4. Roenickstein

    December 11, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I hope Adam Jones enjoys his time in Japan, takes in the culture, and has a successful run there. Financially, he did ok!

    • Raymo

      December 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      Great screen name. And what a platoon they were!

  5. Bancells Moustache

    December 11, 2019 at 9:56 am

    9 years $324 million for Cole. After all of that talk about being fiscally prudent and getting payroll under control, Yankees gonna Yankees. Ugh.

    Meanwhile, Adam Jones is going to Japan. When Gerardo Parra signed in Japan basically before even testing the free agency waters I found it puzzling. Seemed like he didn’t even bother trying for an MLB contract. Let’s be honest here though, Gerardo Parra is Gerardo Parra, but ADAM JONES? I know he’s not 2012 Adam Jones, but he’s still a name and a talent, and 34 is not 44, regardless of what the current front office groupthink may be. Makes me wonder if Japan is getting more aggressive on bringing in US talent. Having watched the World Baseball Classic, one could make the argument that Japanese baseball is actually superior to it’s American counterpart. I’m not saying it is, but you can make the argument. With globalization and all that stuff, could we eventually see a scenario 25, 30 years down the road where the Asian leagues stand shoulder to shoulder with MLB and compete with them for talent? It’s happened in Soccer for decades.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      Bancells, players have gone to Japan in their waning years for some time. Having covered Jones for years, it certainly was a surprise. Most players don’t want to go for obvious reasons, but Jones is adventurous, and has long loved to travel. Being the fourth outfielder for a mediocre team or having an adventure for a few years in Japan? I can see why he made the choice.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 11, 2019 at 2:50 pm

        But after refusing the Philly trade due to ‘family concerns’, I have to wonder if the family is going to Japan as well? (not that it’s really any of my business … just curious)

        Good luck Adam … you’re the best.

  6. Frank Howard LF-1B

    December 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Attention Orix Buffaloes: The key to your future success and GUARANTEED championships is the can’t-miss slugger Crush Davis! You can have him for a song. Just pick up his remaining salary …. and he and Jones will dominate your league! Trust me! Signed, Scott Boras’ twin-brother in Taiwan

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      December 11, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Would that be Bora Boras?

    • Raymo

      December 11, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Hahahaha

  7. jimcarter

    December 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    The fans continually clamor for a reunion with most former players, which defies logic. Gausman is exactly where he needs to be. A big ballpark and pitching to other pitchers gets him two thirds of the way to realizing his potential. The Giants now need to get 3 gold glove winners in the outfield and that ERA might hover around 4.

  8. WorldlyView

    December 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I am going to have nightmares about what happens when the talent-challenged O’s face Cole next year.

    • CalsPals

      December 11, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Can you say no hitter(s)…go O’s…

  9. Raymo

    December 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    So Gerrit Cole will make $36 mil per year. That’s $4,110 per hour, 24×7, for the next 9 years. (I don’t even know why I’m saying this. I just had to.)

  10. WorldlyView

    December 12, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Fun with numbers: according to Spotrac.com, the Orioles’ 2020, 40-man luxury tax payroll is currently $68.3 million. If you subtract the combined salaries of Davis and Cobb ($35 million), the adjusted total is $33 million. Compare that number with Cole’s individual 2020 salary cited above by Raymo. I admit I don’t know exactly what that means, but I don’t think it’s good.
    I was also disturbed by the Spotrac website showing that of the current 40 man roster, only seven (not a typo) players are being paid above the MLB minimum of $583,500. The short-term plan seems, inexplicably, to be to field a good AAA-level team next year. If they trade Mancini and Cobb, that is definitely the short-term plan. Conversely, If you assume that the farm system will definitely produce a sufficient number of solid major leaguers to make the O’s a force in the AL East before 2024, be my guest.

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