Baltimore bolsters backstop depth, sends Patton to Padres, calls up Lombardozzi
BALTIMORE -- After weeks of actively searching, the Orioles added some catching insurance on Saturday, acquiring Nick Hundley and cash considerations from the Padres in exchange for left-hander Troy Patton.
The O's also recalled infielder Steve Lombardozzi from Triple-A Norfolk in the start of what's expected to be a series of roster moves, with Hundley slated for a red-eye on Saturday and expected to be added to the 25-man roster before Sunday's game.
"Troy did a lot of good things for us here," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's kind of tough parting with someone you've been around that long. A good teammate, good friend to a lot of guys, but there's a need that, him being wanted somewhere, could potentially serve. We still hope Matt [Wieters] doesn't need anything [surgically]. Next Wednesday is the three-week mark. I was kidding Matt today. He comes off the DL the day after tomorrow. I said, 'We've got a shot.' Of course not. But we'll see."
The 30-year-old Hundley was on the Orioles' radar ever since catcher Wieters hit the DL. While Showalter said the trade doesn't indicate anything about Wieters' future, there's still some uncertainty about if the All-Star will return from an elbow injury this season.
Hundley batted .271 with a homer and three RBIs in 33 games for the Padres, and he is a career .238 hitter with 47 homers and 195 RBIs. Rookie catcher Caleb Joseph could be headed off the roster for the right-handed-hitting Hundley, who in the final year of his contract, which pays him $4 million this year. He also has a $5 million club option with no buyout for 2015.
"Hundley is a proven veteran catcher," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said in a text message with MLB.com. "[He] handles pitchers well and has power to stabilize [the] team."
Patton, 28, was 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA, and his time with Baltimore was waning, given that the O's bullpen currently has three other lefties. Over five seasons with the Orioles, Patton went 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 40 games.
"You guys are smart. You've always got to prepare for what-if," Showalter said. "We think Caleb and Steve [Clevenger] have done a capable job. We like Brian Ward down below. He's having a good year. And [Michael] Ohlman is learning his trade. But [the Padres] had a surplus there. I believe they were carrying three catchers. Dan and their front office figured out a way to make it work in a lot of different areas. We were fortunate to get it done, I hope."
Lombardozzi took the active spot vacated by Patton on Saturday, and he gives the club infield depth, particularly with Manny Machado sidelined with groin stiffness.
Another roster move that looks good to go is Preston Guilmet, who was optioned Friday and will be added when Chris Davis goes on the paternity list on Sunday. Guilmet is still with the team, and he is expected to travel with them following Sunday's game, with Saturday counting as a taxi squad day.