BALTIMORE – The Orioles bolstered their outfield defense by acquiring Keon Broxton from the New York Mets on Wednesday for $500,000 in 2019-20 international signing bonus pool allotment.
Broxton was designated for assignment last week by the Mets after batting .143 in 34 games with no homers and two RBIs. The Orioles, however, like the idea of having his glove in center field after experimenting with rookie Stevie Wilkerson over the past month.
“He has speed, excellent center field ability, he’s got some raw power,” general manager Mike Elias said of Broxton on Wednesday. “We’re trying some different things in center field and we wanted to give him a look and hopefully give him a little bit more extended time than he’s had.”
In five years with Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and the Mets, the 29-year-old Broxton has a .216 average with 33 homers and 81 RBIs. His best season was in 2017, when he hit 20 homers in 143 games with the Brewers.
“He’s a really athletic guy. His tools are off the charts,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He can really go get it in center field; I’ve seen him make numerous great plays.”
Hyde has no intention of letting Broxton watch from the bench.
“I know that he’s excited to come here, and he’s going to get an opportunity to play,” Hyde said. “Looking forward to watching him play. I’ve seen the raw power, I’ve seen the speed and I’ve seen the defense in center. He’s going to play quite a bit.”
In other moves Wednesday, the Orioles claimed right-hander Chandler Shepherd off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk.
Baltimore also transferred right-hander Alex Cobb to the 60-day injured list with a lumbar strain and designated right-hander Yefry Ramirez for assignment.
Cobb has pitched in only three games this season. He is 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA operating in the second year of a $57 million, four-year contract.
“We’re still waiting to see how he’s responding and seeing how he feels off the mound. He’s just playing catch,” Hyde said. “As of right now, he wasn’t going to come back before those 60 days, so give him the opportunity to get right and go through a full rehab.”
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