As the Orioles seek more balance in their lineup, they found a left-handed hitting outfielder today who will compete for a spot in spring training.
The Orioles acquired outfielder Jaycob Brugman from the Athletics for a player to be named or cash. The 40-man roster has increased to 34 players.
The A’s designated Brugman for assignment on Monday as rosters were set prior to the Rule 5 draft. He made his major league debut on June 9 and batted .266/.346/.343 with two doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs, 18 walks and 38 strikeouts in 162 plate appearances over 48 games. He collected six hits in his first 16 at-bats.
Brugman, who turns 26 in January, owns a career .344 on-base percentage in five minor league seasons, which also brings significant appeal to the Orioles. And he plays all three outfield positions, with most of his experience in center field.
The A’s drafted Brugman in the 17th round in 2013 out of Brigham Young University. He’s arbitration-eligible in 2021.
Brugman is a career .274/.344/.426 hitter in the minors, with 41 home runs in 1,804 at-bats. He hit .275/.355/.340 this year in 38 games at Triple-A Nashville.
With Seth Smith leaving as a free agent and Hyun Soo Kim traded to the Phillies at the non-waiver deadline, executive vice president Dan Duquette has made it a priority to find left-handed hitters for the outfield and perhaps designated hitter.
Switch-hitter Anthony Santander retains his Rule 5 status for the first 44 days of the 2018 season.
Brugman hasn’t faced the Orioles in his brief time in the majors.
Update: “Outfielder Jaycob Brugman is a .275 lifetime left-handed hitter that can play left field and right field average and occasionally fill in at center field,” Duquette wrote in a text message. “He is a good contact hitter and has above-average on-base capability.”