Orioles designate Franco for assignment, option Martin, add Jahmai Jones; Conner Greene reacquired - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Orioles

Orioles designate Franco for assignment, option Martin, add Jahmai Jones; Conner Greene reacquired

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are changing their infield in an effort to end an 18-game losing streak, the longest in Major League Baseball in 16 years and just three short of tying their 21-game skid to begin the 1988 season.

The most noteworthy change is the promotion of second baseman Jahmai Jones from Triple-A Norfolk and the designation for assignment of third baseman Maikel Franco. The Orioles also have optioned shortstop Richie Martin to Norfolk.

It’s expected that they’ll recall third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez from Norfolk before Tuesday night’s game against the Angels.

Franco, who was a late free-agent signing in spring training, was expected to provide more offense at third. However, the 28-year-old has a -1.3 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and is hitting .210 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. In 19 games in August, Franco has hit just .180 with one RBI.

Martin, who missed most of the season because of a broken left wrist, is hitting .227 with a home run and five RBIs in 15 games. He’s committed three errors and could have been charged with another one in Saturday’s game.

Martin was a Rule 5 draft choice in December 2018 and stayed with the Orioles throughout the 2019 season. He was expected to spend much of 2020 at Norfolk but the pandemic and a broken right wrist ended his year. The Orioles expected Martin to spend much of 2021 with the Tides, but he has played only 13 games at Triple-A.

Jones was acquired by the Orioles on February 2nd from the Angels in exchange for right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb.

In three games with the Angels in 2020, Jones was 3-for-7 (.429) with one RBI. Jones was adjusting to second base with Norfolk and hit .238 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. Jones stole 10 bases in 13 attempts and committed seven errors in 52 games at second base. He didn’t commit an error in 11 games in left field, his original position.

Jones missed time earlier this season because of an oblique injury. He’ll become the 54th player used by the Orioles, four short of the team record of 58 in 2019.

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To take the place of Franco on the 40-man roster, the Orioles claimed right-hander Conner Greene on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Greene, who allowed six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings for a 14.73 ERA, was claimed on waivers from the Orioles on August 9th.

Greene threw two scoreless innings for the Dodgers and was designated for assignment on August 20th. He’ll be optioned to Norfolk.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. TxBirdFan

    August 23, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    I won’t be sad to see Franco go. I didn’t think he gave 100% effort all the time, and even got thrown out at home in Texas on a clean single to right field – when he was starting from 3B! I’ve never seen that happen before. He never seemed to fit into a young, supposedly hungry team.

  2. Al Nassar

    August 23, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    The beginning of fall house cleaning.

  3. Jersery O

    August 23, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Should have brought up Bannon instead.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2021 at 2:34 pm

      The moves aren’t over, still six weeks to go.

    • Buzz1979

      August 23, 2021 at 7:51 pm

      True Dat, we have already seen Guetty!

  4. BenSch

    August 23, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    I’m excited to check out Jahmai Jones!

  5. Jersery O

    August 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Just read on MLB Trade Rumors about Franco and it stated that he received an extra $200,000.00 for reaching 400AB. He finished with 403 AB. If that is true, then the O’s weren’t too smart there.

  6. Lankyrat

    August 23, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    It is very hard to watch favorite team lose again and again. I began watching when Weiters was a rookie and “the cavalry” of young talent was on its way. I still enjoy watching young players get chances. Watching McKenna hustle, Matteo helmet coming off every time he runs, and now seeing if Jones can add anything will make me want to watch even though the losses continue to pile up. I tell my kids rooting for a losing team builds character. Not even sure why I posted today, but after reading so many negative posts just wanted to say I am grateful that Baltimore has a MLB team to root for.

  7. OsfansinWV

    August 23, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    And on today’s episode of “Flea Mkt Flip”!!! Now it’s time to send the rest packing… Abad, Akin, Diplan, Wynns,Severino,Stewart,Santander etc etc etc…Why send Martin to AAA again, he’s proven to be injured or just not very good, DFA him as well. Now is the time to bring up some of the so-called best minor league talent and give them a month of experience

  8. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    All the while the number 1 ranked prospect in all of baseball is mired in Norfolk because our team wants one extra year of control.

    C’mon Mikey … throw a dog a bone will ya?

    • BarstoolSleeper

      August 23, 2021 at 5:46 pm

      He’s not getting added to the 40man because when there’s a work stoppage next year, they want him to keep playing.

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 6:58 am

      So they bring him up right before the LLWS game…lol…go O’s…

  9. RoenStein

    August 23, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD. 8/23/21 2:37 PM

    ORIOLES ADD PINTO, VEGA TO BULLPEN; ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH TESLA MOTORS

    In addition to the roster moves announced earlier today, the Orioles will promote RHP Jean Pinto from Delmarva and have purchased the contract of RHP Carlos Vega from the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.

    General Manager Mike Elias said “The Orioles feel fortunate to add the uniqueness of a Pinto and a Vega to our bullpen. Both will help us maximize the number of pitchers we use each game (MPG).” Elias credited Assistant GM, Sig Mejdal for finding Vega. “When Sid joined me on this journey in the fall of 2018, I told you he would use analytics and his computer skills to find talents no other organization was familiar with. And that’s what he’s done with Vega. It’s a real coupe.” Elias went on to say how Medjal found Vega while doing an online search for replacement parts for his Gateway computer.

    Manager Brandon Hyde praised the arrival of fresh arms. “It’s been tough. Real tough. We’ve been running on fumes, just about out of gas. We look for better mileage out of the pen with Pinto and Vega.”

    The Orioles also announced a partnership with Tesla Motors to develop an autonomous bullpen car. “We’ve cycled through several bullpen drivers this season and as any business owner knows, it’s been really hard finding first tier employees. We feel the money is better spent on AI (Asinine Investments) related projects” said Elias. As part of the agreement, the Orioles will spend $100 million that was earmarked but not used for salaries at the major league level 2019-21 on Tesla stock (TSLA).

    • WorldlyView

      August 23, 2021 at 5:14 pm

      They should also sign Hugo Yugo, just released by the Acapulco Margaritas. The more urgent action should be to fire both bullpen catchers. Their poor warmup intangibles presumably have been a key cause of the bullpen pitchers’ poor showing. Roen-S: What games have you been watching? Relievers in Camden Yards trot in under their own power, not driven.

      • RoenStein

        August 23, 2021 at 5:48 pm

        Satire, my friend 🙂

        Unlike the front office, I’m trying to be creative.

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 7:00 am

      Just don’t hit Pinto too hard in the backside, although it could expedite a fire sale…lmao…go O’s…

  10. Bhoffman1

    August 23, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t know about Greene but two good moves. Richie Martin is not a bona fide ML hitter and Franco was a disappointment. Can Mateo play SS. Can Urias play third. Call up Bannon

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2021 at 5:06 pm

      Mateo has started three games at shortstop and Urias has started four games at third, Bruce.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 23, 2021 at 5:53 pm

      The comedy continues. Is that really enough experience. Anything is better then Franco lumbering down first base. As for you definite response about Adley not being called up if it’s about team control boo. It’s definitely not about ability

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 7:02 am

      Totally on team control, he sees it & he’ll remember it…go O’s…

  11. Bhoffman1

    August 23, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    DFA DJ he has nothing on both ends

    • Icterus fan

      August 23, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Oh, but that backswing is a mighty purty thing to behold…..

    • Jersery O

      August 23, 2021 at 6:55 pm

      Not sure which he does worse.

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 7:03 am

      OPACY doesn’t have AC, his swings & misses provide a cooling effect for those on the hot seat…go O’s…

  12. Letsgetmikey

    August 23, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    I just finished a piece on Yahoo Sports on what an embarrassment the Orioles are with their”obvious” tank job. It went on to talk about other recent tanks, the Cubs and Astros. Although I’m not real happy with the pace of our rebuild I agree it had to happen. As I’m watching the Braves and Yankees and see Rizzo, Gallo, Judge, Stanton + Cole, Britton etc I would be just as embarrassed to be a fan of a team who has an endless amount of money to spend

    • WorldlyView

      August 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      Fair-minded people will surely stop accusing us of tanking now that we have resigned the sorely missed Conner Greene. He can take the Orioles to new heights. Will Elias ever be embarrassed by his non-stop collection of other teams’ discards?

    • EkimC

      August 23, 2021 at 9:43 pm

      Elias… King of the dumpster divers! … just saying…

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 7:04 am

      WV, never…go O’s…

  13. Buzz1979

    August 23, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Needs to wear a helmet in the field for self protection!

    • The Bird1

      August 23, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      I think its a win if he puts the helmet on correctly.

  14. willmiranda

    August 23, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Let’s keep re-arranging those deck chairs.

  15. Errol

    August 23, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    …ever wonder why it is this bad? Let’s start with money: the O’s are #29 of 30 (Indians) with $53M. Chris Davis is nearly half of that ($21m)…toss in the $10M the O’s are paying Cobb to pitch in LA, and $31M of the $53M leaves $22M to field a team… They stink, and the prospect of not stinking is way off in the distance. Tampa Bay is 26th, at $70M…in a tax friendly state and safe area Park… Just how many players live in/around Baltimore from October to April? And who would want to pitch in that launching pad of a Park? Folks, it will never happen again in Baltimore. Maybe in Charlotte, Las Vegas or Nashville, but not in Baltimore…and please dump that stupid cartoon duck logo. Change everything if you are going to change anything.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 23, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      I have removed your obscene reference to Baltimore. Say what you want, but keep it clean and respectful, please.

    • CalsPals

      August 24, 2021 at 7:07 am

      I like the old school logo…:)…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 24, 2021 at 8:22 am

        Carton bird all the way!

    • VegasOriole

      August 24, 2021 at 11:18 am

      Never change that logo!

    • RoenStein

      August 24, 2021 at 2:38 pm

      It’s a shame it has taken losing streaks this season of 14 & 18 games to spark a local – and national – debate about this blatant, in-your-face tank job of Elias and crew. But I’m glad to see it. While I’m hopeful that we’ll see a competent and competitive organization in Baltimore again, I do agree with Errol’s comments that the threat of the Orioles leaving town is real.

      Other than having local (Angelos family) vs. out-of-town (Robert Irsay) ownership, one can draw a lot of parallels between the lead up to the Colts leaving and the current state of the Orioles. In 2019 John Angelos said “The Orioles will be in Baltimore as long as Fort McHenry is standing watch over the Inner Harbor.” The question is can the Orioles survive in Baltimore with Mike Elias standing watch over the team? I know my concern sounds super exaggerated. But as I pointed out recently, I believe the strategy of rebuilding the club’s farm system with an attitude of history, tradition and fanbase be damned really risks inflicting irreparable damage to the core product. And lousy results on the field don’t help either. Isn’t that what Irsay did to a certain extent to a once proud and successful franchise? And when cornered by the press, didn’t Irsay say something along the lines of “I’m not moving the damn team!”

      I want to be clear that although they should shoulder some of the blame, I think the Angelos family wants to win and would prefer to keep the team in Baltimore. What they are most guilty of, I believe, is putting way too much trust in Mike Elias and not publicly stating/sharing their performance expectations. 

      One can say that Peter Angelos plunked down $173 million for the team and the family can do whatever they want (i.e. move the team). And while that’s true, it’s easy to argue the State of Maryland via taxpayers and the fans are what really increased the value of the club. Angelos inherited a beautiful, brand new Camden Yards that had millions of fans streaming through the gates.
      From 1993 through 2005, average attendance at Camden Yards was over 3 million per season. From 2005 through the ’17 season, attendance still averaged over 2 million per year. Baltimore has shown that it will support not only a winning team, but one that is making an effort to win. Honestly, why should any fan feel a loyal cause to support a team that is rubbing your nose in a big pile of crap with no apologies whatsoever?  And hats off to the ones who do. Perhaps I missed it, but when have the Angelos family or Mike Elias ever offered an apology for this historically inept team (2018-21)? We all know Elias had nothing to do with 2018 and inherited a mess. But he’s had almost 3 years to put his stamp on the organization – which includes the team that plays at Camden Yards. Those results count too. Where is his stamp? As many are beginning to point out, thankfully – it does not take skill to intentionally tank a team! That, folks, is the stamp Elias has put on this organization.

      Back to the possibility of the team moving. I can see a scenario where the team continues to flounder at the major league level, attendance continues to dwindle and the Angelos family, grown weary, decides to sell the team and take their profits (there’s a lot there to take). Although they will pay lip service to keeping the team in Baltimore, any new ownership group won’t resist the opportunity to have a “new city” (i.e. Vegas, Charlotte or Nashville mentioned by Errol) build them a new stadium where they are guaranteed a giant haul at the gate for a few years – regardless of the product.

      What should Major League Baseball do to combat intentional tanking? How about a formula that takes into consideration payroll, % of revenue derived from attendance, on-field record at the major league level, draft positions over previous years, etc. It would serve the purpose of ending intentional tanking for high draft picks and penalize clubs who derive income from the success and competency of other organizations. Why do teams like Boston, New York and Los Angeles compete almost every year? Because their fans demand it. Their fans would immediately turn on them – at the gate and otherwise – if they intentionally tanked. It’s true that historic parks like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field do draw fans regardless of what happens on the field, but those are exceptions. It doesn’t work at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. 

      One last thought and it’s in regards to the on-field management. Brandon Hyde has nothing to do with the talent he is provided – pretty clear that Elias and Elias alone is responsible. But he can at least set an example by looking professional. Do you think Earl Weaver, Cal Ripken Sr. or Frank Robinson would represent the franchise in the dugout in a unshaven and in a hoodie? Show professionalism and demand excellence even if you’re a long way from it.

      • Hallbe62

        August 24, 2021 at 3:12 pm

        Excellent take. I don’t want to even put the “thought of” the Orioles leaving Baltimore into my head.

        But it’s there. Festering away. It would be so easy to dismiss, but for 1 man……….Robert Ersay

      • WorldlyView

        August 24, 2021 at 5:25 pm

        I’m in a really bitchy mood today, so I offer another criticism of today’s postings. Part of the answer to R-S’s question as to why Boston, New York and the LA Dodgers compete almost every year is the fact that they perennially lead MLB in TV revenue. That few things are absolute in baseball is demonstrated by the LA Angels struggling every year, even with one of the best players in the Big Leagues. The Orioles deserve only limited empathy because they are just a little below the midpoint in estimated TV revenue. Also, I would appreciate it if you and everyone else would include Indianapolis in their list of potential destination cities. It would be adorable to have the Orioles and Colts together again in the same city.

      • Rich Dubroff

        August 24, 2021 at 5:44 pm

        Since you’re new around here, I’ll repeat what I’ve written a number of times There is no chance of the team leaving. MLB does not want an empty Camden Yards.

        Teams leave in any sport because their current stadium situation is untenable and another locale is eager to lure them with a new stadium. There are two dire stadium situations in baseball, Oakland and Tampa Bay. MLB is encouraging Las Vegas to build a stadium in order to force Oakland’s government to move.

        Unlike the NFL, where Vegas and LA were eager to build new stadiums, Charlotte, Portland, Nashville, Indianapolis, Montreal and Vegas haven’t shown that willingness.

        Only one MLB team has moved in the last 50 years, and with tighter economies due to Covid and taxpayers unwilling to pay for new stadiums, it seems absurd that cities would be fighting to get an MLB team. Owners would have to agree to it.

        Charlotte, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Nashville already have two teams in major sports, and they may not be large enough to support a sport that demands 81 home dates. Besides, MLB would love to keep those markets open for expansion and the giant fees those owners would pay the others for admittance to an exclusive club.

  16. WorldlyView

    August 24, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Arguably, there IS such a thing as bad publicity…From yesterday’s http://www.nbcsports.com:
    “…The reality of its roster construction with a low payroll and few reliable veterans has made the team a national storyline, but for all the worst reasons. Rival executives around the league have described the Orioles as an “embarrassment,” per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, and an example of tanking gone “haywire.” Tanking, or keeping your payroll as close as possible to the league’s salary floor so your team can lose as many games as possible, accumulate high draft picks and larger bonus pools for additions from the amateur ranks, is not new in Major League Baseball… However, the Orioles are drawing more criticism with each passing loss, with calls for the league to crack down on teams who consciously don’t do everything they can to win…” Ouch!
    Some of you unshakeable optimists should write NBCsports/Washington and explain why you believe that “the great rebuild plan” is about to kick into high gear and will elevate the O’s to competitiveness status by next year or 2023 the latest.

    • willmiranda

      August 24, 2021 at 10:02 am

      It is not surprising that other teams’ executives and other interested parties are upset by the O’s deliberate incompetence. The team is diluting the product, resulting in lower gates for their road games and, of course, lower ratings for broadcasts on all media. No doubt they are pariahs for national broadcasts, closing the Baltimore and mid-Atlantic markets to national advertisers. Saying “I knew this was going to be difficult” understates the situation to the point of idiocy. A “What, Me Worry” smile is not the answer.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 24, 2021 at 10:16 am

      Steve, others referred to Rosenthal’s story yesterday.

      I have no idea who Mike Deprisco is. As far as I know he’s never covered an Orioles team and is making another lazy regurgitation of others’ work.

      As a longtime academic, you should be able to spot lazy, unoriginal work.

      By the way, when that site was CSNMidAtlantic, the precursor of NBC Sports Washington, I was the Orioles reporter from September 2011-October 2016. They then ceased coverage of the team, except for the occasional drive by.

      • WorldlyView

        August 24, 2021 at 4:49 pm

        Rich, Like you have often written, I was just reporting facts–in this case, a biting beat down of the Oriole organization. I had no intention or need to make a value judgment on the originality of the work. Nor am I in a position to evaluate Deprisco’s credentials. His article should be criticized and dismissed IF, and only if, he misquoted anyone or grossly exaggerated the external criticism of the O’s. His was a quickie Internet post, not a bid for a Pulitzer Prize.

  17. foodman

    August 24, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Errol, It is true that Camden Yards is “a launching pad”. Only Cincinnati gives up more HR’s as a ballpark. HR’s are part of baseball and will occur. The problem as I see it is not the HR’s or the launching pad as you so aptly described OPACY. Again, the problem is what happens BEFORE the HR’s. The O’s pitching staff walks hitters and falls behind too many others. There are too many occasions where hitters with HR totals with 5 have hit 4 against the O’s or a total of 3 have all of them against them against the Orioles’ pitching staff. Not all of them are at OPACY. The walks and getting into hitters counts has to stop. I also think that besides the obvious problem with execution is the pitches called at inopportune times and distractions like runners constantly on base. Again, not to disagree with you, but there have been some successful Oriole pitchers at OPACY. Stop the walks and the hitters counts and things may change a bit.

    • Icterus fan

      August 24, 2021 at 11:56 am

      I realize there are myriad reasons why we’re giving up so many runs, but the pitching is the biggest factor. We’ve fielded successful teams in our “bandbox” before.

      There’s no denying that OPACY has smaller dimensions but do we hang all our problems on that?
      The Trop seats 31K and is 404 to dead center.
      Progressive Field seats 35K and is 410 to LF.
      Marlins Park seats roughly 37K and is 407 to CF.
      Coors Field seats 50K but is 347 to LF, 390 to LC, 415 to CF and 350 to RF.

      OPACY seats 46K and is 333 to LF, 410 to LC, 400 to CF, 373 to RC and 318 to RF.

      Its axiomatic that good pitching silences good hitting, so we know where we need to focus.

      These are dark days as fans but stop talking about pushing the fences back and such nonsense as I’ve read before. Who knows how long we will flounder (or tank or whatever) but at some point the club will have to make legitimate offers (read overpay) to legit free agent pitchers in order to lower the ERA. I blame the arms, not the park.

  18. Mikepete73

    August 25, 2021 at 10:05 am

    enough of wasting spots on the 40 man on guys like conner greene.

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