The Orioles have signed catcher Anthony Bemboom to a minor league contract, the team informed reporters (including Dan Connolly of the Athletic). Bemboom was eligible to sign a minors pact during the lockout because he’d been passed through outright waivers by the Dodgers midseason and elected minor league free agency at the end of the year.
The 31-year-old backstop has appeared briefly in each of the last three MLB seasons, tallying 144 cumulative plate appearances between the Rays and Angels. He’s a .178/.241/.287 hitter with four home runs in that time. The left-handed hitter owns a more solid .250/.347/.398 line over parts of five seasons at Triple-A.
Bemboom adds some much-needed depth to the top of the Orioles’ farm system. Baltimore doesn’t have a single backstop on the 40-man roster. Top prospect Adley Rutschman looks likely to get the bulk of playing time next season after hitting his way up through Triple-A. It’s possible Rutschman begins the 2022 season back in Norfolk, particularly if service time continues to be relevant in determining a player’s free agency trajectory in the next collective bargaining agreement. Even were Rutschman to break camp, the O’s would need at least one 40-man addition to serve as a backup. Baltimore also added Jacob Nottingham on a minor league pact last week.