The Orioles traded shortstop José Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, barely a month before they picked up his $3.5 million option for 2021. The return was right-handed pitchers Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings.
Iglesias hit .373 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 39 games with the Orioles, who had signed him to a one-year contract with an option for 2021 in January.
He missed time with injuries to his left quadriceps and wrist.
Pinto, 19, pitched three games in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. Stallings, 23, was the Angels’ fifth-round pick in 2019 and has yet to pitch professionally.
“We continue to view the accumulation of talent as a priority,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said in a video conference call on Wednesday night.
“The reality is when you’re in a phase like we are, anytime you sign a free agent, it’s in the back of your mind that trade possibilities exist with that player. He’s not a player that we would have traded lightly, but we knew there were some open shortstop jobs around the league.
“We knew he was very attractive for his offensive, defensive and leadership skills that he put on display with the Orioles, and I think that we got two quality arms from the Angels, one of whom, in particular, is somebody that we’ve been focused on since he was in the 2019 draft, Garrett Stallings, one of the best pitchers in the Southeastern Conference that year.”
Besides dealing Iglesias, the Orioles did not tender a contract to infielder Hanser Alberto on the deadline day for players eligible for arbitration. Alberto, who hit .299 in his two-years with the Orioles and was especially productive against left-handed pitching, could have made at least $2 million in arbitration, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
“We have absolutely loved having Hanser in every way, shape and form since he got here, ” Elias said. “He’s a terrific player. I expect that he’ll have opportunity and interest. Part of our job is to operate within the economic framework of the collective bargaining agreement, and the rules that are in place and the quirks of the arbitration system.
“You saw today a lot of really good players around the league get non-tendered as part of this process. He’s somebody that we continue to have interest in pursuing. We feel this is a great home for him, and continues to be, and we will continue talking to him. I think the interest is mutual, but it’s his right to explore opportunities, and we’re going to have to compete for him.”
On Tuesday, they signed catcher Pedro Severino to a reported $1.8 million contract. On Wednesday, they signed infielder Yolmer Sánchez, who they acquired on waivers in October to a reported $1.1 million, and right-handed pitcher Shawn Armstrong and infielders Pat Valaika to one-year contracts.
Because of injuries to Iglesias, Valaika played much more than was originally thought, and appeared in 52 of the club’s 60 games, hitting .277 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs.
As expected, the Orioles tendered contracts to first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini and outfielder Anthony Santander.
The Orioles have 38 players on their 40-man roster.