By Tim Dierkes [March 24, 2014 at 8:32am CST]
The Orioles have announced they have designated catcher Johnny Monell for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for newly-acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi.
Monell, 28 on Thursday, was optioned to Triple-A by the Orioles last Wednesday after Steve Clevenger won the team's backup catcher job. The Orioles acquired Monell from the Giants in November for cash considerations. He hit .275/.364/.494 with 20 home runs in 481 Triple-A plate appearances last year, his first time at that level. For the Giants' Triple-A club, Monell played 48 games at catcher, 47 at first base, and one at the hot corner.
I was surprised that Monell was the choice to DFA to open the spot for Lombardozzi. With the league wide interest in catchers it would not surprise me to see him claimed. Perhaps they can trade him for some International bonus pool money.
This move would suggest two things to me; 1) that the Orioles were not impressed with his defensive abilities which explained his being optioned BEFORE Caleb Joseph and the fact that they are willing to expose him to waivers; 2) that the Orioles are trying to work out a trade for Almanzar. With the acquisitions of Adams and Lombardozzi there isn't a valid argument for keeping him and his play performance this spring hasn't compelled saving a spot for him on the 25 Man Roster.
The fact that the Orioles are willing to risk losing Monell to keep Almanzar - a player they would otherwise lose by not keeping him on the opening day roster - screams trade efforts to me. IMO Almanzar would be the best 3B prospect in our system if we could keep him.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/03/o ... nment.html