The Orioles announced to reporters, including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, that they have signed catcher Meibrys Viloria to a minor league deal. He’s working out at the club’s Sarasota facilities but will presumably move to a higher affiliate in the days to come. He had signed a minor league deal with the Angels in May but was released in early June, per his transactions tracker at MLB.com.
Viloria, 26, has bounced around the league quite a bit in the past couple of years. He was in the Royals’ system from 2014 to 2021, including 67 major league games from 2018 to 2020. He reached free agency and joined the Rangers in 2022. He was briefly claimed by the Giants at the end of last year but was designated for assignment and became a free agent again in the offseason.
This year, he signed a minor league deal with the Guardians. He cracked the Opening Day roster as part of a three-catcher setup alongside Mike Zunino and Cam Gallagher. By the start of May, he had yet to receive a start and only tallied 21 2/3 innings off work off the bench. He went 0-3 with a walk in four plate appearances before he was designated for assignment. He then latched on with the Angels, as mentioned, but hit .167/.265/.333 for their Triple-A club before being released.
The Orioles have made it clear that catching depth is important to them as they have frequently brought various guys aboard for that position. Adley Rutschman is the primary backstop at the big league level and James McCann the backup, though the latter is currently on the injured list. McCann’s injury paved the way for Anthony Bemboom to join the big league roster, though Mark Kolozsvary and José Godoy have each been with the club at various times.
Viloria is the latest to be brought into the fold for some extra depth. He’s hit just .198/.270/.279 in the majors but has a much stronger .249/.385/.406 line at Triple-A. He isn’t considered a plus framer by either Baseball Prospectus or FanGraphs, while Statcast likes his work with the running game but not his blocking. If he can get back to the big leagues, he is out of options but has yet to reach arbitration and can be cheaply retained for future seasons.