The Orioles are in the market for another catcher as spring training approaches.
Austin Wynns injured his ankle while playing for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League and it’s not known when he’ll be available. He’s on the list of spring invites, along with top prospect Chance Sisco and Audry Perez.
One official speculated that Wynns might not be ready until March, but he’s started to swing a bat and is working out.
The club needs to have enough guys to catch all the pitchers in camp, so executive vice president Dan Duquette may bring in someone else on a minor league contract.
Wynns played at three levels of the farm system last year - 51 games at Single-A Frederick, 21 games at Double-A Bowie and eight games at Triple-A Norfolk. He hit a combined .287/.336/.416, including a .303/.351/.436 slash line with the Keys.
I know what you’re thinking and, yes, Matt Wieters remains unsigned. But Wynns’ injury isn’t going to push the Orioles into negotiations. The two aren’t connected.
* Left-hander Boone Logan agreed to terms with the Indians yesterday on a one-year deal with a club option for 2018. He reportedly will earn a base salary of $5.5 million and the option is worth $7 million.
The Orioles have liked Logan for quite a while now, but figured that he would be too expensive as they sought another left-hander for the bullpen. They don’t want to rely solely on Donnie Hart, whose major league experience consists of 22 games.
Logan figured to land two guaranteed years, but it didn’t happen.
* The Orioles haven’t given up on adding a low-cost outfielder before opening day, but two more came off the board yesterday when the Phillies agreed to terms with Chris Coghlan on a minor league deal and the Reds neared an agreement with Desmond Jennings on a minor league deal.
A phone-in guest last night on the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan, Adam Jones repeated how the Orioles would benefit from improving their outfield defense. However, he also understands the challenge with the roster mostly set.
“That’s the thing,” he said. “You have who you have, and there’s nothing against who we have. But you have to go with what you have and be as good as you can with what you have.
“It’s no slap to anyone else, but when you had me, (Nick) Markakis and (Nate) McLouth, or me, Markakis and (Alejandro) De Aza, let me know what happened. You see over in Boston when you’ve got (Jackie) Bradley, (Mookie) Betts and when they have (Chris) Young out there and when they have (Andrew) Benintendi. You look at Tampa, the athleticism that they have with (Kevin) Kiermaier, (Steven) Souza and whoever they put in left. Then you go to New York with (Jacoby) Ellsbury, (Brett) Gardner, who won his first Gold Glove and I’m so proud of that. I love how he plays. And it’s an easy right field to play.
“I’m just saying you have to improve the defense. It’s no slap against anybody. You just have to have elite defenders. That’s just part of baseball, like I said. It’s part of winning. You don’t have David Price, Chris Sale, guys who are going out there and striking out 250 guys. Our defense is used, which is great. But we just need to improve our defense.
“I don’t know what’s going to be implemented in spring training. I’m sure that they have something they want to implement. I’m a team guy. I’m all ears to whatever they want to implement and whatever they feel will get us better. I’m an employee. I’m not a boss of any sort, I don’t make any decisions. I’m an employee with a strong opinion. That’s just my two cents.”
* The Orioles announced yesterday that flagship station 105.7 The Fan will broadcast 12 spring training games, including the March 7 exhibition against the Dominican Republic representative in the World Baseball Classic that includes third baseman Manny Machado.
The last three broadcasts will feature 30-minute pregame and postgame shows.
Here’s the full exhibition schedule:
Sunday, February 26 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1 vs. Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 2 vs. Minnesota Twins, 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 at Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7 vs. Dominican Republic (WBC), 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 13 vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15 at Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 25 vs. Minnesota Twins, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 26 at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m.
Monday, March 27 vs. Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
The station again will air all 162 regular season games. Joe Angel and Jim Hunter will pair up for most of the radio broadcasts. Mike Bordick and Ben McDonald will rotate in as occasional analysts.
Fred Manfra will work 11 home games as he retires from full-time duty after 24 seasons. His schedule was reduced last summer, as well, for health reasons.
Hunter also will do play-by-play on numerous MASN broadcasts.
Also, the “Hot Stove Show” will continue to air each Thursday on 105.7 The Fan from 6-7 p.m. through March 30. Beginning in March, all shows will originate from Sarasota until the final broadcast.