Written by Chris Slade
Trader Dan has been on the prowl lately, scouring through the island of misfit toys, looking for a healthy fixin' of scrapheaps. In other words, Orioles GM Dan Duquette has kicked off the latest edition of Orioles Offseason with a bevy of "depth" signings. To recap the recent activity...
* Nov. 18 - The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz to a one-year contract, proving to the shocked know-it-alls like myself that it is possible for a minor league free agent with no MLB experience to sign a major league deal.
* Nov. 20 - The Orioles signed right-hander Edgmer Escalona, previously of the Rockies bullpen, to a one-year contract. On this day we also learned that three players were added to the 40-man roster: Arizona Fall League standouts Michael Ohlman (catcher) and Tim Berry (lefty pitcher), along with knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa (who has since been removed).
* Nov. 25 - The Orioles acquired recently DFA'd right-handed pitcher Brad Brach from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league right hander Devin Jones. While Jones isn't a standout prospect, he still has solid bullpen upside. Don't think we needed to make this move but I digress.
We also learned on the 25th of November that second baseman Cord Phelps had been claimed off waivers from the Indians. This looks to be a solid depth move as Phelps was a decent prospect coming up in the Indians organization before stalling at AAA with the emergence of all star Jason Kipnis.
* Nov. 30 - The Orioles picked up left-handed hitting catcher Johnny Monell from the Giants in exchange for cash considerations, giving them a total of four catchers on the 40-man roster. He's got above average pop for a catcher and will compete with Steve Clevenger to backup Wieters.
(And then of course yesterday we had the Jim Johnson salary dump trade with an act now and we'll throw in Jemile Weeks deal from the Athletics)
Yes, these types of moves will keep you in your seat, but that's not going to stop me from breaking down each individual player the Orioles have acquired in in upcoming series of "Getting To Know" posts with the help of an old friend, internet research.
After all, you can never have too much organizational depth and you never know which one of these guys might become a surprise contributor to the team next season.
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