Orioles release Núñez, designate Eshelman for assignment, claim Chris Shaw on waivers - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles release Núñez, designate Eshelman for assignment, claim Chris Shaw on waivers

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.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Birdman

    November 25, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Let’s see … the Orioles release a player who has 52 home runs and 147 RBIs in 293 MLB games, and replace him on the roster with an older player who 1 home run and 7 RBIs in 38 MLB games ??

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 25, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      No, he was already off the roster. He was replaced by one of the six players they added last Friday.

  2. Birdman

    November 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the clarification, Rich … so what is Shaw’s status in terms of the Orioles roster at this point?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      He’s on the 40-man. He replaced Thomas Eshelman, as I wrote.

  3. Bhoffman1

    November 25, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    We now have to Chrises at first base . This one hit 153 so between both of them if we add their averages we have a 300 hitter. Oops it doesn’t work that way

  4. CalsPals

    November 25, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    This claim makes zero sense…I’m totally confused, just started to give Eli’s some credit & bam, he does this, WTH…go O’s…

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 25, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    I dunno, it IS a curious pickup. They don’t really need a first baseman, and the outfield is more crowded these days as well. But when you look a little closer at his MILB numbers, and considering his pedigree, it may not be so bad to take a closer look at him. What did it really cost us?

    • dlgruber1

      November 26, 2020 at 1:37 am

      It’s a classic Duquette pickup. He LOVED other teams first round draft choices that for whatever reason never worked out. I guess Elias feels the same way. My only surprise is that he doesn’t come from Houston or Chicago.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 26, 2020 at 9:16 am

        Didn’t Elias pluck Richie Martin from Oakland 2 years ago? And was he not a 1st round pick? Seems to me that the beat goes on regardless of who the GM is.

        Makes you wonder just how secure Mancini is from being traded. Makes me wonder anyway …

  6. Phil770

    November 26, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Hopefully, this move will make some sense later on. Right now…it does not make sense.

  7. Massmonster

    December 1, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    the O’s continue to operate as a minor league major League franchise unwilling to pay by all other major League standards a paltry 2 million for a player who hit 31 home runs for them in their last full year,amazingly cheapskates

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