With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, it almost went unnoticed that the Baltimore Orioles made a minor trade over the weekend. The Birds sent cash considerations to San Francisco in return for catcher Johnny Monell. The O’s immediately added him to the 40-man roster, and he’s a career .267 hitter over the course of seven minor league seasons with the Giants’ organization. Dan Duquette seems to like him because he hits from the left side and his offensive numbers don’t appear to be too shabby. The O’s now have Matt Wieters and three other catchers on the 40-man roster: Monell, Steve Clevenger, and Chris Snyder.
As of right now, it appears that the goal is to have Monell compete for the backup catcher role
with Clevenger and Snyder once the team heads to spring training in Sarasota. (Incidentally, we’re only a little more than two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting…just thought I’d throw that in there!) Here’s an interesting tidbit: according to Duquette he can also play some first base. Might the Orioles be looking to potentially spell Chris Davis at first here and there in 2014? Most catchers can sub as first baseman for the record, and many of them see reps at first base as their careers wind down so as to help save their legs. (We’re already seeing that from Joe Mauer in Minnesota.)
Speaking of Davis, we knew he could hit and field. But to anyone who saw the end of the Auburn/Alabama game on Saturday…who knew that Chris Davis could return missed fields goals to the house as well?! (For the record, that has to be the most exciting end to a football game in my lifetime.)