I just returned home from today’s video chat with Steve Melewski at the MASNsports.com Web studio, and I wanted to pass along a quick update on the Orioles’ catching situation.
The Orioles are on the verge of trading for a backup, and it appears to be Taylor Teagarden, a former third-round pick of the Texas Rangers who’s a career .220 hitter in parts of four major league seasons.
Manager Buck Showalter has ties to Teagarden, who turns 28 later this month, from their days together in Texas.
Teagarden, who’s known more for his defensive skills, could replace Craig Tatum in the backup role.Tatum signed with the Houston Astros.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette told me yesterday that he was hoping to trade for a backup. He also has made offers to a few six-year minor league free agents.
Apparently, a deal for Teagarden will get done before next week’s Winter Meetings. Look for confirmation from the Orioles later this afternoon, once he completes a physical.
The Sun first reported that the Orioles were engaged in trade talks with the Rangers for Teagarden.
Update: The trade talks included Double-A Bowie second baseman Greg Miclat and Single-A right-hander Parker Bridwell. The Orioles are hesitant to part with Bridwell, a ninth-round pick in 2009.
Left-hander Jarret Martin, an 18th-round pick in 2009, also was discussed.
Update II: The deal is complete. The Orioles have acquired Teagarden for Single-A pitcher Randy Henry and a PTBNL, also expected to be a low-level minor leaguer.
Henry went 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances at Delmarva, and 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA in nine relief outings at Frederick. The Orioles drafted him in the fourth round in 2009 out of South Mountain (Ariz.) Junior College, but he’s battled some arm injuries.
Teagarden had his knee scoped after the season - nothing serious - and the Orioles checked it before agreeing to the deal.
Manager Buck Showalter wants to lighten catcher Matt Wieters’ work load next season, so a reliable backup became a priority. Teagarden is considered a huge upgrade over anyone who backed up Wieters in 2011.
The trade gives the Orioles two catchers on their 40-man roster.