The Angels have designated catcher Chris Okey for assignment and transferred Gio Urshela to the 60-day injured list, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic. The moves completes a series of roster moves from earlier today that saw infielders David Fletcher and Eduardo Escobar added to the 40-man and active rosters.
Okey, 28, agreed to a minor league deal with the Angels back in April and made his team debut in May following injuries as the club battled through injuries to Max Stassi, Logan O’Hoppe, and Chad Wallach behind the plate. He appeared in just two games for the Angels, striking out in both of his plate appearances. Prior to his time in Anaheim, Okey made his big league debut in Cincinnati last June. He appeared in seven games for the Reds in 2022, slashing .167/.231/.167 in 13 plate appearances before being designated for assignment in July. Prior to 2023, Okey had spent his entire career in the Reds organization.
Though he certainly didn’t tear the cover off the ball in the minor leagues, Okey owns a career .233/.300/.362 slash line at the Triple-A level, including a .276/.325/.410 line in 33 games with the Angels’ affiliate in Salt Lake City this season. Those numbers could indicate that Okey has more to offer at the plate than his abysmal career wRC+ of -4 in the majors would indicate, though his numbers with the Salt Lake Bees are somewhat inflated due to the offensive environment in the Pacific Coast League.
Looking ahead, the Angels will have seven days to trade, waive, or release Okey. In the likely event that he clears waivers, Okey will have the opportunity to reject an outright assignment to the minors after being outrighted previously in his career, leaving him with the option to continue acting as catching depth for the Angels or attempt to catch on with another club on a minor league deal.