The Baltimore Orioles needed a catcher. With the injury to their everyday catcher Matt Wieters, who was sidelined earlier this month with an elbow injury, on the disabled list the Orioles wanted a verteran presence in the catcher’s role. It is still unclear if Weiters will return this season or if the injury will require season ending surgery.
According to MLB.com the prior to Saturday’s game the Orioles acquired Nick Hundley, 30, from the Padres for left-hander Troy Patton and cash considerations. The Orioles had Hundley on their list of catchers to watch since Wieters hit the disabled list. Hundley batted .271 with the Padres this season with one home run and three RBI, playing in 33 games. In his career Hundley has a batting average of .238 with 47 homers and 195 RBI.
While Hundley isn’t a big offensive force, he’s an experienced catcher. Now in his seventh season in the big leagues, he played six full seasons with the Padres prior to being traded Saturday morning. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli reports that executive vice president of baseball Dan Duquette emphasized the importance of Hundley’s experience,
“Hundley is a proven veteran catcher, he handles pitchers well and has power to stabilize the team.”
The Padres received the 28-year old southpaw Patton who played with the Orioles for five seasons. He appeared in 40 games with the Orioles over that span going 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA. The Orioles already have three other lefties in the bullpen so this was an easy move for them them to make. They do inherit Hundley’s $4 million salary. Hundley is in the final year of his contract which comes with a $5 million club option for next season but no buyout.
Hundley will join the team Sunday and it is expected that rookie catcher Caleb Joseph will be sent down to make room for Hundley on the roster. Infielder Steve Lombardozzi was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to take Patton’s spot on the roster. Lombardozzi will provide infield stability especially with third baseman Manny Machado being day to day with groin stiffness.
The Orioles are expected to make more roster moves in the coming days yet none have been confirmed. For now though they have a fuller, healthier roster and a solid replacement for Weiter’s in Hundley.