SARASOTA, Fla.— The Orioles acquired catcher Pedro Severino on waivers from the Washington Nationals, giving the team three catchers on the 40-man roster and six in camp.
In all likelihood, only two of will go north with the team.
Severino, 25, batted just .187 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in parts of the last four seasons with the Nationals.
It’s a confusing picture because Chance Sisco seemed the clear favorite to make the team, and on Friday, Jesus Sucre didn’t invoke his opt-out clause, making it seem that he would be added to the 40-man roster.
Austin Wynns, who seemed to be a contender, hasn’t played in nearly three weeks because of a sore oblique.
Veterans Carlos Perez and Andrew Susac are also in camp.
“We’re still sorting that out,” manager Brandon Hyde said about the catching competition. “We like all the guys in camp. Guys have done a really good job.”
Severino is out of options. If he doesn’t make the Orioles’ roster, he would have to go through waivers.
“We have decisions to make,” Hyde said. “It’s pretty late…[Severino’s] a talented guy. Our goal has been pretty transparent…to get as much talent into the organization [as possible]. Pedro’s a really talented guy, and he was available, and we wanted to take a look.”
Sisco, who hits left-handed, has .300 average with four home runs and 10 RBIs in Grapefruit League games.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” Hyde said about Sisco’s defense. “I’m really happy with how Chance has progressed from the middle of February until now…[He’s] gotten a lot better in a lot of areas defensively.”
Last season was a difficult one for Sisco, who began the season with Baltimore then slumped offensively and defensively, earning two return trips to Triple-A Norfolk.
“Chance needs to play,” Hyde said. “You’re not going to develop by sitting. If he’s in the big leagues, he’s going to play. If he’s in Triple-A, he’s going to play.”
Sisco hit .181 with two home runs and 16 RBIs with the Orioles and could be returned to Norfolk to start the season.
“I think that’s what we’re going to decide, if it’s better for him to start in Triple-A,” Hyde said. “He doesn’t have a ton of Triple-A at-bats. He’s still a young guy…He should be proud of the camp he’s had, and proud of the progress he’s made, and I just want him to keep it going.”
The Orioles could start the season with Sisco and Sucre, or perhaps Severino will make the roster.
“Nothing has changed in our eyes with Jesus Sucre,” Hyde said. “I love Sucre. He’s a big-league catcher. He can really catch and throw and provide great leadership on the field. He’s going to give you a grind at-bat…Nothing’s changed on our end about him. Adding Severino, Mike [Elias] and the guys are figuring out the roster.”