A months-long effort by the Orioles to restock their middle infield stores continued Monday when the club claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the Texas Rangers.
Reinheimer, 26, ended last season with the New York Mets but is now with his fourth team of the offseason after being claimed and designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs and then the Rangers. A career .275 minor league hitter with gap power and 123 steals, Reinheimer has five hits in 35 major-league at-bats over two stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Mets.
While he played some in left field in recent years, Reinheimer is primarily a shortstop who can handle the position well and fill in at second base and third base. He'll join a crowded crew of infielders looking to solidify themselves on the Orioles roster, with only Jonathan Villar seemingly guaranteed of a spot after his trade last year from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Infielders Zach Vincej and Chris Bostick were among their first wave of minor league free agent signings, contracts that came with invites to major league camp. The Orioles acquired shortstops Richie Martin and Drew Jackson in the Rule 5 draft, and claimed infielder Hanser Alberto off waivers from the New York Yankees earlier this month. All of the newcomers plus returning infielder Steve Wilkerson are in the mix for playing time at whichever position up the middle that Villar isn't holding down.
The Orioles also have Renato Núñez at third base, but that hasn't stopped them from adding at that position either, with third baseman Rio Ruiz claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves during the winter meetings.
A 2013 draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, Reinheimer was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for current Oriole Mark Trumbo in 2015. Former Orioles Welington Castillo and Vidal Nuño were also involved in that trade.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated right-hander Austin Brice for assignment. Brice was claimed earlier this month from the Los Angeles Angels.