The Orioles have reacquired former prospect L.J. Hoes from the Houston Astros in exchange for cash.
Hoes, who was sent to the Astros at the 2013 trade deadline in the deal that brought right-hander Bud Norris to Baltimore, was designated for assignment by Houston last week.
Hoes, a Prince George's County native who was the Orioles' third-round draft pick in 2008, played in eight games for the Astros last season, going 4-for-15. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Fresno, posting a .295/.383/.400 hitting line with three home runs, 53 RBIs and a career-high 26 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
"We are glad to have L.J. Hoes back with [the] O's," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. "He is a versatile and dependable outfielder with very good on-base capability."
Hoes owns a career .299/.388/.399 hitting line at Triple-A, including a .304/.406/.403 line at Triple-A Norfolk in 2013 before his trade to Houston.
Hoes was the Orioles' minor league Player of the Year in 2012 following a season in which he hit .287/.372/.388 with five homers, 54 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 133 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.
But at the major league level, Hoes is just a .237/.289/.328 hitter in 112 games, all but three coming with the Astros. He hit .287/.337/.371 in 46 big league games after he was dealt to Houston in 2013, but struggled the following year, batting .172/.230/.287 in 55 games with the Astros.
On July 31, 2013, the Orioles dealt Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and their 2014 competitive balance pick to Houston for Norris. Hader, an Old Mill graduate, was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers this past season in the deal that netted the Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez.