The Orioles have announced that they have outrighted catcher Aramis Garcia and pitcher Chris Ellis to Triple-A Norfolk. They now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Garcia was claimed from the Reds on October 15th, and quickly passed through the Orioles’ waivers. He was projected to earn only $800K during his first trip through arbitration, but Cincinnati opted to cut him loose with Tyler Stephenson entrenched as the team’s primary catcher. Garcia dealt with a left middle finger sprain during the 2022 season that forced him to the 60-day injured list, limiting the former second-round pick to 47 games where he slashed a weak .213/.248/.259 with a single homer. The 29-year-old has a better track record in Triple-A, where he has hit .264/.329/.447 across parts of four seasons.
The Orioles primarily relied on a combination of Robinson Chirinos and Anthony Bemboom to supplement Adley Rutschman in 2022. With Chirinos’ impending free agency, it is likely that Garcia will join Bemboom in competing for a backup catcher position in the spring, with the defeated remaining a depth piece in Triple-A.
Ellis, a former third-round pick, underwent season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in early May after dealing with shoulder inflammation. He struggled in his two starts this year, pitching only 4 1/3 innings and allowing 5 runs while walking 6 batters before being placed on the injured list. Ellis is arbitration-eligible after the 2024 season.
Nevertheless, Ellis had a strong start to his Orioles career in 2021 after being waived by the Rays. With the Birds, he made six starts (25 1/3 innings) and pitched to a 2.49 ERA. However, advanced metrics weren’t so bullish, giving Ellis a high 5.22 FIP due in part to his low 15.2% strikeout rate and a high 12.4% walk rate. Additionally, Ellis has a career 6.02 ERA in 318 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level across parts of six seasons.
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