The Orioles have outrighted backup catcher Austin Wynns off the 40-man roster, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The team has yet to formally announce the move, but Wynns, who has previously been outrighted off the 40-man roster, will be able to elect free agency.
Wynns, 30, has spent parts of three seasons in a backup capacity with the O’s, appearing in a total of 115 games and batting .216/.255/.326 in 331 trips to the plate. While the offense isn’t much to look at, Wynns has a strong defensive reputation and has been quite adept at thwarting stolen bases, with a 32 percent mark in his career and a particularly impressive 38 percent mark in 2021 (11-for-29).
Catcher figures to be an area of focus for the O’s this offseason, although with top prospect and former No. 1 overall draft pick Adley Rutschman on the horizon, they’re not likely to be in the market for a high-profile name. Veteran Pedro Severino is also on the 40-man roster at the moment, but with a projected $3.1MM salary in arbitration, he’s a clear non-tender candidate.
Assuming the club eventually moves on from Severino, the O’s could look to bring in a veteran on a non-guaranteed minor league deal — a frequent tactic for them throughout their ongoing rebuild. It’s possible that could even be Wynns on a new minor league arrangement that doesn’t require a spot on the 40-man roster. The 2013 tenth-rounder has spent his entire career in the Baltimore organization.