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Saturday Bird Droppings: Orioles claim two Reds catchers

Changes to the qualifying offer, finding Adley’s backup, and it’s Jim Palmer’s birthday!

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

While other GMs are busy watching playoff baseball, Mike Elias is stalking the waiver wire for organizational depth. It seems the Orioles boss is simply built different. Or he is at least very aware that the team needed to improve their catching depth.

The Orioles added two catchers to their 40-man set-up, claiming Aramis Garcia and Mark Kolozsvary from the Reds on Friday. To make room, the team designated pitchers Beau Sulser and Louis Head for assignment.

Garcia turns 30 in January. He has played parts of four seasons in the big leagues for three different clubs, including 47 games for the 2022 Reds. His batting line in those 47 games was .213/.248/.259. But he receives above-average marks for framing and pop time.

Kolozsvary turned 27 in September. He made his major league debut in 2022, appearing in 10 games for the Reds. The biggest chunk of his year was in Triple-A, where he had a .168/.293/.294 batting line over 42 games.

For the moment, the Orioles have six catchers on the 40-man roster. That includes pending free agent Robinson Chirinos. As it stands, none of the options to backup Adley Rutschman are particularly compelling. But at least the team seems aware that it needs to improve in that area.

These moves shouldn’t do much to dissuade those in the fan base that believe signing all-star Willson Contreras would be a smart move. The idea there would be to lessen Rutschman’s workload behind the plate, keeping him healthy, and allowing him to get more at-bats at DH or maybe first base. At this moment, anything is possible, so dream big!


Orioles won’t be overlooked in 2023 | Roch Kubatko
The whole “not being overlooked” thing started at this year’s midway point. That is when opposing managers kept remarking on how much better the Orioles were in 2022. Aaron Boone and Alex Cora, in particular, mentioned it.

The defining moment of the O’s resurgent 2022 |
Adley Rutschman was the most important figure in the 2022 Orioles season. It cannot be a coincidence that the team’s play improved so much following his promotion. There is reason to believe he enters 2023 as the de facto “best catcher in baseball.”

Qualifying Offer Set At $19.65MM For 2022-23 Offseason | MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles do not have any free agents that will be receiving the qualifying offer. But the $1.25 million jump is significant, and it could possibly keep an intriguing player or two off the market.

Red Sox Claim Jake Reed, Designate Eduard Bazardo | MLB Trade Rumors
Reed was DFA’d by the Orioles earlier this week in order to make room for Jake Cave. Now he will try to make his way with an inferior team in the same division.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Cody Carroll turns 30 today. The right-handed pitcher was part of the return the Orioles got in the Zack Britton trade with the Yankees in 2018. He pitched in 18 games between 2018 and 2020 before being released in August of 2021.
  • Chad Mottola celebrates his 51st. He made his way into six games with the Orioles as an outfielder in 2004.
  • Glenn Gulliver is 68 years old. His brief MLB career was spent entirely in Baltimore, where he played in 73 games from 1982 to ‘83.
  • Jim Palmer turns 77. The Orioles legend played 19 seasons in Baltimore, spanning three decades and all three of the team’s World Series championships. He made seven All-Star Games, won four Gold Gloves, and took home three Cy Young awards. Since retiring, Palmer has been a mainstay in the team’s broadcast booth. Happy birthday, Cakes!

This day in O’s history

1969 - The O’s fall in Game 4 of the World Series to the Mets, losing 2-1 in 10 innings.

1970 - For the third time in the series, the Orioles comeback from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Reds 9-3 and win the World Series, four games to one. Brooks Robinson is named MVP.

1997 - Mike Mussina is marvelous in the ALCS, allowing just two hits over eight innings. But his lineup can’t support him, stranding 14 runners throughout the game. The Orioles fall in extra innings 1-0.

2014 - The O’s are swept away in the ALCS, dropping Game 4 by a score of 2-1.