Right-hander Austin Brice joined the Orioles on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, making Baltimore the 26-year-old reliever's third team this offseason.
A ninth-round draft pick of the then-Florida Marlins in 2010, Brice made his major league debut with the club in 2016 and was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds the following year. He was an up-and-down reliever with the Reds each of the past two seasons, and received his most extensive major league work this past season. He had a 5.79 ERA in 37 1/3 innings with a 1.39 WHIP in 2018.
In 70 major league games spanning 84 career innings, Brice has a 5.68 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP with 72 strikeouts and 25 walks.
Brice works with a mid-90s fastball and also features a curveball and a slider, but despite his good sinker, Brice is out of minor league options, so the Reds designated him for assignment in November to clear roster space. He ended up being claimed by the Angels, but was designated for assignment again when they signed catcher Jonathan Lucroy last month.
To clear a spot on the Orioles' full 40-man roster, the club designated 26-year-old infielder Breyvic Valera for assignment. One of five players acquired in the July trade that sent star shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Valera hit .286 in 12 major league games before he fractured a finger in late September and missed the rest of the season.
The Orioles are already without one infielder from last season — the nontendered Tim Beckham — but added Richie Martin and Drew Jackson in the Rule 5 draft and claimed Rio Ruiz off waivers from the Atlanta Braves during the winter meetings. The team has seven days to trade or place Valera on waivers.