Always one step ahead of the competition, that Dan Duquette. What was his "thing" last year? Backup catchers? Well, it appears that this year's model is the utility infielder. Having recently acquired Brandon Wood and sent former Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty to Norfolk, the Orioles acquired former second round draft pick Josh Horton from the Oakland A's for cash considerations or a PTBNL. Horton, a 2007 grad of UNC-Chapel Hill, is reportedly "an excellent defender", but has only slashed .231/.279/.337 in 183 PA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. According to Roch Kubatko, Horton will be assigned to Bowie.
In other moves reported by the always on the ball Matt Eddy, the Orioles have reunited with Ronny Paulino on a minor league deal. The large Dominican receiver served as the assistant to the assistant to the franchise player for a brief spell last season, and also briefly moonlighted as a lefty specialist DH. It could even be said that the latter was a role in which he nominally thrived, posting a .296 BA in eight games.
Finally, in what I can only imagine is yet another case of Dan Duquette trolling Joe Jordan, the Orioles signed RHP Austin Urban. The O's drafted Urban in 2010, but did not sign him. Urban was drafted by the Cubs the following year, but was out all of last year with an injury. It's easy to discount such moves, but in Dean Albany I trust. The 20 year old righthander will report to Aberdeen at the start of the New York-Penn League season.