The Orioles announced that catcher Cam Gallagher has gone unclaimed on outright waivers. He’s elected minor league free agency in lieu of an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk, as is his right as a player with more than three years of big league service. Baltimore also confirmed that backstop Anthony Bemboom has cleared waivers but accepted an assignment to Norfolk. The O’s hadn’t previously announced Gallagher had been taken off the 40-man roster, which now sits at 33.
Baltimore claimed Gallagher off waivers from the Padres during the final month of the regular season. He barely played for the organization, making just five appearances with Norfolk. Gallagher had also not suited up in the majors for the Friars, spending his two-month tenure there in Triple-A after San Diego added him from the Royals at the trade deadline. Gallagher had a tough year in Triple-A, mustering a .200/.277/.343 line in 119 plate appearances between the three teams.
Before this August, Gallagher had spent his entire career in Kansas City. He’s been the backup to Salvador Perez for the past few years, appearing in parts of six big league seasons but never tallying more than 48 games in an individual season. He has a cumulative .240/.302/.355 line over 469 career plate appearances at the big league level.
The 29-year-old (30 in December) had been eligible for arbitration. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Gallagher for just a $1MM salary, but the O’s evidently determined they weren’t prepared to carry him on the 40-man roster all winter. He now heads to the open market for the first time, where he’ll add a depth option for teams seeking catching help.