The Orioles added more organizational depth Monday, claiming infielder Cord Phelps off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.
Phelps -- primarily a second baseman who has also played left field, third base and shortstop in the minors – played 53 games with Cleveland over the past three seasons and compiled a .159/.221/.248 slash line.
He was hitless in nine at-bats for the Indians last season, but he dealt with neck and right wrist injuries throughout the year. He did not appear in a game after July 2 and was placed on the 60-day disabled list in August.
Phelps, who turns 27 in January, was designated for assignment by the Indians on Wednesday.
“He is a switch-hitting middle infielder, has some power and is a good on-base man,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said about Phelps. “He hadn't really had an opportunity to play in the big leagues. He's been a productive, everyday player in the minors.”
The Orioles have options at second base -- among them Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop -- and the team could resign veteran Brian Roberts. But Phelps offers added depth and someone who can play a super-utility role, much like Flaherty.
A third-round pick of the Indians in 2008 out of Stanford, the switch-hitting Phelps spent most of the past four seasons playing for the Indians’ Triple-A team in Columbus, hitting .267/.333/.443 with nine homers and 46 RBIs in 287 plate appearances last season.
He’s shown some power at Triple-A, hitting a career-high 16 homers in 2012 and 14 in 2011 and he owns a .367 on-base percentage at the Triple-A level.
The move puts the Orioles’ 40-man roster at 38 players. They announced a trade for former Padres reliever Brad Brach earlier Monday.