Just hours after the New York Yankees designated infielder Hanser Alberto for assignment to make a roster spot for Zach Britton, the Orioles claimed him to bring him into the fold.
Alberto, 26, had spent his entire career in the Texas Rangers organization before he was waived in November and claimed by the Yankees. With Texas, he made his major league debut in 2015, appearing in 41 games in his age-22 season before playing 35 games in the majors the next year.
However, a shoulder injury limited him to just five minor league games in 2017. Although he hit .330 with a .797 OPS and 27 extra-base hits for Triple-A Round Rock this past season, he didn't translate it back into the big leagues, batting .185 in 13 games before the Rangers knocked him off the roster.
Alberto, who is out of minor league options, is a career .287 minor league hitter who made 44 starts at shortstop last year at Triple-A — more than any other position. He has also played first base, second base and third base.
He joins a shortstop position in flux for the Orioles. Jonathan Villar is locked into one middle-infield spot with Rule 5 draft picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson plus rookie Steve Wilkerson also in the mix for playing time up the middle. Renato Núñez and Rio Ruiz are in contention for time at third base.
To create a roster spot for Alberto, the Orioles designated catcher Andrew Susac for assignment. Susac, 28, had three hits in 26 at-bats last year for the Orioles, but suffered an arm injury upon his return to the minors and spent time on the restricted list late in the season.