(Updated: 11:15 p.m.)
The Orioles must set their Opening Day roster by noon on Sunday, but a pair of roster moves on Friday provided some clarity on the 25 players who will be going north to Baltimore.
Relief pitchers Chaz Roe and Zach Phillips both passed through waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Signed by the Orioles on March 23, the southpaw Phillips was in contention for a roster spot with lefty specialist Brian Matusz expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list with a back ailment. Roe pitched to a 4.14 ERA in 41 1/3 innings in the Orioles bullpen last year, but the right-hander struggled to a 6.91 ERA after the All-Star break and was out of options.
Barring the late acquisition of a lefty reliever, the Orioles appear poised to go with a bullpen consisting of All-Star closer Zach Britton, All-Star setup man Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, Dylan Bundy, T.J. McFarland, Tyler Wilson, and Vance Worley. With Kevin Gausman beginning the year on the DL and Mike Wright already pegged to be the No. 4 starter, Wilson would appear to be the favorite to be the fifth starter when the Orioles need one on for the first time on April 10.
Right-handers Chris Tillman, Yovani Gallardo, and Ubaldo Jimenez are the top three members of the starting rotation.
As for position players, the final roster spot is likely to go to outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, but non-roster invitee Xavier Avery remained in major league camp as of Friday night. Kim has not given his consent for an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk, meaning the Orioles must either carry him on the 25-man roster or release him and eat $7 million guaranteed to him over the next two seasons.
A favorite of Buck Showalter, the defensive-minded Paul Janish was reassigned to minor-league camp on Friday night, but he has an opt-out clause in his minor-league deal.
The position players already projected to be on the roster include catchers Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph, infielders Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Ryan Flaherty, and Pedro Alvarez, and outfielders Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Joey Rickard, and Nolan Reimold.