Orioles acquire Jai Miller, trade Brandon Snyder in separate deals (updated)

The Orioles got their outfielder, and he comes from the Oakland Athletics.

Just not that outfielder.

The team announced that it acquired Jai Miller from the A’s for cash considerations. In a separate deal, they sent former first-round pick Brandon Snyder to the Rangers for cash considerations.

The 40-man roster remains full with these moves.

Miller, 26, batted .276/.368/.588 with 32 home runs, 88 RBIs and 16 stolen bases without being caught in 110 games for Triple-A Sacramento in 2011. He also appeared in seven games for the A’s, going 3-for-12 with a home run.

Miller has batted .271/.351/.516 with 85 homers and 253 RBIs in 423 games at the Triple-A level in the last four seasons. He appeared in 20 games with the Royals in 2010, batting .236/.300/.345. Miller made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2008.

“Jai Miller has the power, speed, base stealing skills and good athletic ability to be an asset in our outfield as he competes for a spot on our ballclub this spring,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said in a statement.

Snyder, 25, batted .261/.312/.406 in 114 games with Triple-A Norfolk in 2011. He also appeared in six games for the Orioles, going 3-for-13.

UPDATE: Miller is out of options, so he’ll have to make the club in spring training or pass through waivers before being sent to the minors.

The Marlins drafted Miller, a right-handed hitter, in the fourth round in 2003. The Athletics and Royals have claimed him off waivers. He re-signed with Oakland as a free agent in November 2010.

“We like Miller’s tools and capabilities, and we thought he would be a good addition to our ballclub,” Duquette said. “He’s 26, he has power, he has speed, he can play center field and right. I don’t know that we were out looking for another outfielder, but we like his athleticism and he put together some pretty impressive numbers in the Pacific Coast League. And he did help the A’s win a game 2-0 over Seattle with his bat. He hit a home run that was the difference in the ballgame.

“He’s a good addition to our ballclub. He plays center field and he looks to me like a qualified major league player. He looks to me like he’s at the point in his career where he’s able to establish himself in the big leagues.

“We added more depth to our outfield. We added a qualified major league outfielder who can play multiple positions in the outfield and also contribute with the bat.”

Do the Orioles need a clear room in their outfield to give him sufficient at-bats?

“If he’s not playing every day, he’s capable of coming off the bench and stealing a base for you, and he can pinch hit. And if he runs into a ball, there’s a good chance he’s going to get an extra-base hit. And he can play defense in all three outfield positions,” Duquette said.

“He would probably hit for more power if he had more at-bats. If he’s not playing every day, he does have those other skills.”

Duquette is still looking to add a starting pitcher, and he wants to improve the club’s on-base capability “from top to bottom.”

When I asked whether he needs to find a leadoff hitter in case Brian Roberts can’t play, Duquette said, “I think we have options to play second base. I’m not sure they’re currently on our roster. I’m not sure a .380 on base percentage is in our lineup with players who can play second base.

“Our on-base capability, we need to upgrade that. We need to place more emphasis on that.”

In other words, this roster isn’t set. Duquette has more moves in the works.

We may have to wait until next week before the Orioles announce more hires and their minor league staffs.

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