Orioles remove three players from roster

Leon, L. Lopez, Machado now become free agents

October 09, 2004|By Roch Kubatko

Needing room on their 40-man roster, the Orioles have removed backup infielders Jose Leon and Luis Lopez, and reserve catcher Robert Machado.

All three players passed through waivers, refused outright assignments to Triple-A Ottawa and became free agents.

Leon didn't play after Sept. 26 because of a strained left calf muscle that he's rehabbing in Puerto Rico. He batted .322 with 17 homers at Ottawa, but only .182 with two homers in 31 games with the Orioles.

Lopez spent the entire season with the Orioles after beating out Clay Bellinger for the utility job in spring training. He appeared in only 56 games, batting .182 with one homer.

Machado, whose contract was purchased from Ottawa on May 25 after the Orioles designated Keith Osik for assignment, batted .151 with one homer in 37 games. He became the third catcher when Geronimo Gil was recalled in September and rarely left the bench.

The Orioles have 37 players on the 40-man roster. They could add a few prospects from the lower levels of the minor league system to protect them from being claimed by other teams.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners still haven't contacted the Orioles to receive permission to interview bench coach Sam Perlozzo for the vacant manager's job. Major League sources continue to rate Anaheim Angels bench coach Joe Maddon as the front-runner.

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