Orioles announce four minor league signings

The Orioles announced four of their minor league signings this afternoon, with catcher Nick Ciuffo going unreported until today.

The list also includes left-hander Fernando Abad and right-handers Claudio Custodio and Conner Greene. Abad and Greene were confirmed additions to the organization earlier this month.

Ciuffo, who turns 26 in March, provides some catching depth that the organization has sought with Bryan Holaday and Martin Cervenka entering free agency. He’s a left-handed hitter and first-round pick of the Rays in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Lexington (S.C.) High School.

Ciuffo-Catching-Rays-Sidebar.jpgThe Rays released Ciuffo in July 2019 and he signed with the Reds later in the month and the Rangers in December. He didn’t play in the majors in 2020.

Ciuffo appeared in 19 games with the Rays - 16 in 2018 and three in 2019 - and was 8-for-43 (.186). His only home run came against the Orioles on Sept. 7, 2018 at Tropicana Field. He had a career-high four RBIs, including his three-run shot off Dylan Bundy.

Ciuffo has five RBIs in the majors. It was a productive day.

In seven minor league seasons, Ciuffo has batted .248/.293/.344 with 96 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs and 183 RBIs in 1,844 plate appearances. He’s thrown out 45 percent of runners trying to steal.

Custodio, 30, has made 104 appearances in the minors as a pitcher and also played shortstop, second base, third base and all three outfield positions. His professional career began with the Yankees’ Rookie-level Dominican Summer League team in 2010.

Custodio reached Triple-A in the Blue Jays system in 2018 and Double-A with the Braves in 2019. He’s mainly been used on the mound since 2016.

Abad celebrated his 35th birthday on Thursday, is 8-29 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.285 WHIP in 384 games spread over nine seasons.

The Nationals released Abad on July 17, 2020, two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19. He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees and became a free agent in November.

The Orioles would be Abad’s seventh team if he makes the active roster. He made 69 appearances with the Athletics in 2014 and registered a 1.57 ERA and 0.855 WHIP in 57 1/3 innings. The Twins used him in 39 games in 2016 before trading him to the Red Sox on Aug. 1 and he posted a 2.65 ERA and 1.206 WHIP in 34 innings.

Left-handers have slashed .234/.283/.378 against Abad, who provides another southpaw option in camp.

Greene, 25, was the Blue Jays’ seventh-round draft pick in 2013 out of Santa Monica (Calif.) High School. He’s never reached the majors.

Greene also has pitched in the Cardinals and Royals systems - he was part of the Randal Grichuck trade - and owns a 4.22 ERA and 1.468 WHIP in 172 games (117 starts).

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