The Orioles added to their catching depth Friday, acquiring Andrew Susac from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named or cash.
Susac, 27, gives the Orioles four catchers on their 40-man roster. With Caleb Joseph projected to be the team’s likely Opening Day starter, Susac will enter camp competing for a backup role, along with top prospect Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns.
Susac, a former second-round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants, was designated for assignment by the Brewers earlier this week when Milwaukee signed former Orioles reliever Matt Albers.
The Orioles had one open spot on their 40-man organizational roster, so adding Susac did not require a corresponding move.
Susac has played 104 major league games, with his most time coming with the Giants in 2015. Susac hit .218/.297/.368 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers and 14 RBIs in 148 plate appearances over 52 major league games that season.
Susac joined the Brewers at the 2016 nonwaiver trade deadline as part of a trade that sent reliever Will Smith to San Francisco.
He spent most of last season with the Brewers’ Triple-A club in Colorado Springs, hitting just .205/.307/.404 in 51 games there. He opened last season on the major league disabled list, the first of three times he landed on the DL last season.
In eight major league games with the Brewers last season, he was 1-for-12 with six strikeouts. Over his major league career, Susac is a .232/.299/.396 hitter with 82 strikeouts and 23 walks in 274 plate appearances.
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Susac has shown good arm strength, throwing out 25.4 percent of base runners (16-for-63) at the major league level. In the minors, Susac threw out 35.5 percent of potential base stealers, including 37 percent (10-for-27) last season.
Whether Susac blocks Sisco — or Wynns — from earning a spot on the Opening Day roster remains to be seen, but he does have a minor league option remaining, so he could open the season in Triple-A without going through waivers.
The Orioles have been looking to add a catcher with more major league experience to slot behind Joseph going into spring training, especially since Sisco saw time in just 10 games during his September call-up last year and Wynns was just added to the 40-man roster in the offseason.