The Orioles have traded catcher Johnny Monell Jr. to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, according to an industry source.
Monell, who was beaten out for the backup catcher job by Steve Clevenger this spring, hit .209/.280/.286 with one homer and seven RBIs in 30 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He made 18 starts at catcher, six at first base and two at designated hitter.
The move comes a day after the club optioned Clevenger back to Norfolk when first baseman Chris Davis returned from paternity leave. After acquiring catcher Todd Hundley in a trade with the San Diego Padres on Saturday, the Orioles carried three catchers – Hundley, Clevenger and rookie Caleb Joseph -- for two games.
With Gold Glove catcher Matt Wieters currently on the disabled list with a right elbow strain and his status for the remainder of the 2014 season uncertain, the Orioles had been looking to add catching depth. They added the veteran Hundley to receive the majority of starts while Wieters is out.
Wieters hasn’t thrown since going on the DL, and the Orioles plan to decide whether he will need season-ending surgery on his elbow by July 1.
On Tuesday, the club chose to option Clevenger instead of Joseph partially to give Clevenger regular at-bats at Triple-A, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
That meant fewer at-bats for Monell, who was already seeing his playing time diminish.
The Orioles acquired Monell from the San Francisco Giants in November for cash following a season in which he hit .275/.364/.494 with 20 homers and 64 RBIs in Triple-A and earned a brief stint with the Giants.
Monell will report to the Dodgers’ Triple-A team in Albuquerque.
MLB Daily Dish first reported the news of Monell's trade.