After lasting over three weeks into the season before making their first roster move of the year, the Baltimore Orioles have been doing the roster shuffle over the past weeks. The dance continued yesterday as they were going to activate Manny Machado off the disabled list if there was a game, but it was postponed and it allowed them to resign 1B/OF Steve Pearce.
About a week ago, the Orioles made their first roster move of the season when they designated Pearce for assignment in order to recall LHP T.J. McFarland to help in the bullpen as it had been extremely overworked during the O's four game series in Boston.
McFarland stuck around for nearly a week before the O's decided they needed another bat and potential outfielder, thus the team optioned McFarland back to AAA and recalled 2B/OF Jemile Weeks.
Ahh the dance continued over the weekend and this time due to injury rather than the team needs, as Chris Davis suffered an oblique strain that resulted in the team having to place him on the DL, but with a scheduled off day this past Monday, the team decided to wait before filling his roster spot.
Why wait you may ask? Well, it turns out there were two reasons.
First, Machado was currently taking part in a rehab assignment with the High-A Frederick Keys, and the team wanted to see if he would be ready to go baseball wise for the two game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates that was supposed to start yesterday. It turns out that Machado was ready and the team was set to activate him from the DL yesterday if the game was played.
As the day went on yesterday, fans began to wonder why you would delay activating him until right before game time and not just go ahead and do it, if that was the plan. Well we got our answer yesterday evening. The team was waiting on Pearce and the waivers process, and as it turns out, Pearce was claimed off waivers, and declined the team, elected to become a free agent and the Orioles quickly resigned him, which essentially looks as though was the plan all along.
The kicker here is, in order for a team to be able to immediately use a player that they DFA'd and then resigned because the player elected free agency, the team must have an open spot on their 25-man roster. Thus, by not activating Machado right away, the team was able to wait out the Pearce process and since they never activated Machado, the team was able to resign Pearce and place him on the 25-man roster.
Obviously the Orioles wanted Pearce back because he can play first base, and with Davis on the DL, Nick Markakis has seen the majority of the time at first.
Now, when the Orioles do play their next game, whether that is tonight (although the weather does not look promising) or Thursday, the team will have to clear a roster spot in order to activate Machado off the DL. Our sources tell us that the likely candidate is Weeks, but Ryan Flaherty is a possibility as well.
The roster shuffle will continue at some point with Machado being activated, so after a quiet first three weeks to the season, the past nine days have been full of moves, but no moon walk.
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