Orioles acquire 1B Ryan O’Hearn from Royals, adding left-handed bat to backup options – The Denver Post


The Orioles potentially addressed the most apparent remaining need on the offensive side of their roster, acquiring left-handed first baseman Ryan O’Hearn in a trade for cash with the Kansas City Royals.

O’Hearn, 29, appeared in 342 games with Kansas City over the past fives seasons, playing first and both corner outfield spots. But after slugging .597 in 44 games in 2018, he has largely struggled, posting an OPS+ of 73 or lower — meaning he was at least 27% below league average — each of the past four seasons. Those struggles likely factored into the Royals’ decision to designate him for assignment to create space for starting pitcher Jordan Lyles, who signed a two-year deal with Kansas City after the Orioles declined his $11 million option for 2023.

The Orioles have been seeking a left-handed complement at first base for Ryan Mountcastle, who before the trade was the only member of Baltimore’s 40-man roster with at least 10 games of major league experience at the position. To create space for O’Hearn on their 40-man roster, the Orioles designated minor league right-hander Chris Vallimont for assignment.

Before the Royals cut him loose, O’Hearn signed a $1.4 million deal to avoid arbitration. Based on arbitration projections, O’Hearn would be one of 11 Orioles with a contract worth at least $1 million should he make their opening day roster. Baltimore had no more than seven such players to start the 2019 to 2022 seasons, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

This story will be updated.



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