L.J. Hoes is coming back to this area code. The Orioles acquired their former draft pick back from the Houston Astros on Wednesday afternoon in exchange for cash considerations.
Unlike the last trade where Hoes, the Orioles, and the Astros were involved, this is not a deal of much significance. That's because Hoes was designated for assignment by the Astros last week and he was in the DFA limbo period. If the Astros hadn't traded Hoes, he would have become a free agent soon. They didn't have much or any leverage to get anything more than a small amount of money.
Adding Hoes to a full 40-man roster means that someone must come off the roster. Sure enough, infielder Andy Wilkins has been sent to the great DFA in the sky in turn. If you remembered Wilkins was on the 40-man roster, give yourself a gold star.
Here is what was generated by the Dan Duquette random quote bot about this move:
Duquette: "We are glad to have LJ Hoes back with the O's. He's a versatile & dependable outfielder with very good on-base capability."— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) November 25, 2015
We can confirm that the Duquette quote bot programming is still functioning.
Hoes, who will be 26 by next Opening Day, played in 109 games for the Astros over the past three seasons after being sent there in the Bud Norris trade. He only played in eight games at the MLB level in the most recent season. That's not very surprising when you look at the batting line he compiled with Houston: .240/.290/.332. He did have good on-base capability in the minors with the O's. That's continued in his minor league exiles with the Astros, including Hoes drawing 52 walks in 99 games for Triple-A Fresno this year. We haven't seen that in the big league yet.
He's probably ticketed for a competition to be the fourth outfielder or a bench bat. Not much harm in giving him a shot. The Orioles gave up as close to nothing as you can get in a baseball trade without actually giving away nothing. You never know, maybe the spark of returning closer to home will be what spurs Hoes on to do better than he's ever done before.