The Orioles exercised their $3.5 million option on the 2021 contract of shortstop José Iglesias, the team announced on Sunday.
Iglesias was signed on January 7th to a $2.5 million contract with a $3.5 million option or a $500,00 buyout.
The team, which had until 5 p.m. Sunday to pick up the option, solidified its 2021 middle infield with the move.
On Friday, the Orioles added 2019 Gold Glove second baseman Yolmer Sánchez on a waiver claim.
Iglesias, who was hampered by quadriceps and wrist injuries, played in 39 games and hit .373 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. He also had 17 doubles. Igelsias started just 22 games at shortstop in the 60-game season.
The moves by the club cast doubt on the future of infielders Hanser Alberto and Pat Valaika. Both are eligible for arbitration. It will be Alberto’s second year of arbitration eligibility, and the Orioles are unlikely to keep him along with Sanchez and Iglesias.
Alberto received a contract of $1.65 million this year. Valaika is in his first year of eligibility for arbitration.
Sanchez, who signed a minor league contract with San Francisco this season before his August 21st release and subsequent signing with the Chicago White Sox, is also eligible for arbitration.
The Orioles soon will reactivate infielder Richie Martin from the 60-day injured list and also have Ramón Urias on the 40-man roster as infield insurance.
There are 33 players on the Orioles’ 40-man roster.
Note: On Friday, pitchers Branden Kline and Kohl Stewart declined their outright assignments by the Orioles and will explore free agency.