The Orioles released Renato Núñez on Wednesday after being unable to work out a trade for the infielder/designated hitter whom they designated for assignment last Friday.
Núñez, who hit 50 homers for the Orioles from 2018-2020, was designated for assignment when the team added six rookies to fill its 40-man roster.
In 52 games this past season, Núñez hit .256 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs. In 2019, Núñez hit 31 homers and drove in 90 runs while hitting .244.
With the return of Trey Mancini, Chris Davis still on the roster and many candidates for outfield spots, Núñez didn’t seem to have a place on the team for 2021.
Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said the Orioles hadn’t planned to offer Núñez a contract because they didn’t want to take him to arbitration, where he could have earned more than $2 million for 2021.
The Orioles claimed first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw on waivers from the San Francisco Giants. Shaw, who is 27, was the Giants’ first-round draft pick in 2015.
Shaw, who went to Boston College, hit .153 with a home runs and seven RBIs in 38 games for the Giants in 2018 and 2019. He played left field as well as first for San Francisco.
To make room on the roster for Shaw, the Orioles designated right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman for assignment. Eshelman, who was 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA in12 games, tied with Travis Lakins for most wins on the team in 2020.
Eshelman started four times for the Orioles in 2020 and was 4-3 with a 5.22 ERA in 22 games in 2019 and 2020. He was also taken off the roster last year and made it back to the majors.
Since Eshelman was outrighted previously, he can declare for free agency if he isn’t claimed on waivers or the Orioles don’t make a deal for him.
The Orioles’ 40-man roster remains full.