Monell, 27, was designated for assignment by the Giants last week after playing in eight big league games in 2013. He was 1-for-8 with one RBI and two runs scored for the Giants last September.
A former 30th-round pick in 2007 out of Seminole Community College (Fla.), Monell hit .275 with a .364 on-base percentage and 20 homers in 121 games for the Giants’ Triple-A team in Fresno in 2013. He played mainly at catcher, but also can play first base.
“He’s a pretty good hitter, had a good year with bat, [is] a left-handed hitter with some pop,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “We like the way he swings the bat. … He continues to improve his skills and he looks like he is ready to contribute in the major leagues.”
Duquette said Monell, who is currently playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, will get an opportunity to compete for the Orioles’ reserve catcher job. Other than starter Matt Wieters, Steve Clevenger had been the only other catcher on the 40-man roster with major league experience.
“He’s a capable receiver; he threw out 40 percent of base runners a couple years ago,” Duquette said. “And he knows his way around a batter’s box.”
Duquette said Monell also has a couple minor league options remaining, meaning he can be returned to the minors next year without being put on waivers. The club now has 39 players on its 40-man roster.