The Orioles added another name to their catching mix on Friday, signing veteran backstop Jesús Sucre to Minor League contract. Sucre's deal includes an invite to Spring Training, where he'll compete for a job amid a crowded field of catchers.
The deal is reportedly worth $850,000 if Sucre makes the team and includes a March 22 opt-out, according to USA Today.
Sucre spent the past two seasons with Tampa Bay, where he hit .232 across 135 games as the Rays' primary backup catcher. The 30-year-old previously spent parts of four seasons in a similar role for the Mariners, appearing in 88 games from 2013-16. He is a career .223 hitter who is generally regarded as a strong defender.
Sucre ranked among the baseball's best catchers in average arm strength (84.5 mph, tied for ninth) on stolen-base attempts in 2018, per Statcast™. He has thrown out 32 percent of attempted basestealers in his career.
Sucre will be one of four non-roster catchers in Orioles camp this spring, joining Martin Cervenka, Andrew Susac and Carlos Perez, whom Baltimore inked to a Minor League deal in December. The O's have two catchers on the 40-man roster, Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns, after outrighting Susac on Jan. 17.
Minor League shuffle
The Orioles are in the process of significantly shaking up their Minor League coaching staffs, the details of which are beginning to emerge.
Gary Kendall has been promoted to manage Triple-A Norfolk, the Tides announced Friday. Kendall spent the past eight seasons managing Double-A Bowie. He replaces longtime Tides manger Ron Johnson, whose contract expired in October.
The Orioles also added two coaches from the college ranks this week, hiring former Harford Community College coach Tim Eller and former Nova Southeastern University coach Justin Ramsey in unspecified roles. Eller and Ramsey both announced their appointments on social media.