Orioles acquire catcher Lenin Rodriguez from Phillies

SARASOTA, Fla. - The distribution of international signing bonus slots continues under executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.

The Orioles swung another spring training deal earlier today, sending an undisclosed slot figure to the Phillies in exchange for minor league catcher Lenin Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is the latest depth move, and he reaches the low levels of the system. He turns 21 later this month and hasn’t played above short-season Single-A, appearing in 21 games last summer with Williamsport in the New York-Penn League and batting .213/.342/.295.

In four professional seasons, Rodriguez has slashed .263/.369/.367 with 21 doubles and six home runs.

Baseballs generic.jpgThe native of Venezuela made eight starts behind the plate last season and threw out three of seven runners attempting to steal. He nabbed seven of 28 the previous year in the Gulf Coast League.

The Phillies gave Rodriguez a $300,000 signing bonus, but he slipped down the depth chart.

Elias stated at FanFest that he wouldn’t spend the slot funds just for the sake of spending, and most of the top international talent already has committed to other organizations.

Patience is required here.

The slots don’t carry over past June 15 and Elias has chosen to use them in transactions similar to the one announced by both teams today. Elias will have to wait for the next reset on July 2 to pursue players who grade highly on the international market.

The Orioles acquired minor league pitchers David Lebron from the Rangers and Xavier Moore from the Twins for bonus slot funds since camp opened and they also grabbed Dwight Smith Jr. from the Blue Jays and tossed him into their outfield competition. Prior to camp, they acquired Rule 5 utility player Drew Jackson from the Phillies during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

Smith singled twice today and hit a two-run homer in a 14-1 win over the Tigers in Lakeland.

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