Baltimore Orioles add a stocking stuffer
The Baltimore Orioles appeared to be working right up to the Christmas holiday yesterday as they added a last minute stocking stuffer to their roster. Former Boston cathing prospect Ryan Lavarnway was claimed off of waivers (from the Chicago Cubs), as the O’s continue to stay in the market for catching depth. This move makes some sense given that it’s unclear if Matt Wieters will be ready for Opening Day, and free agent Nick Hundley apparently has a two-year offer on the table from another team.
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Lavarnway was claimed off of waivers by the Dodgers in early December, and then waived again only to be claimed by the Cubs last week – and now the O’s. He’s been a decent hitter in the minors, however he’s struggled at the big league level, hitting .201 in parts of four major league seasons.
The curious part of this to me was that in order to make space for Lavarnway on the 40-man roster the O’s waived released outfielder Quentin Berry. As you might remember, Berry received a September call-up this past season, and with the O’s needing help in the outfield…it’s just interesting to me that Berry would be the guy who’s released. However Lavarnway apparently can also play first base, so I suppose that if push comes to shove Chris Davis could play in the outfield and Lavarnway could play first.
I suspect that in the long run this will be seen as another depth move within the organization, and that Lavarnway will spend the majority of his time in Norfolk. Whenever Wieters is back and ready to play, he’ll be the starting catcher and Caleb Joseph will be the backup. However if Wieters has to start the season on the DL, I would expect Lavarnway to be in the mix.