Catcher Nick Hundley reportedly signs with Rockies

The possibly overly-patient Orioles have lost yet another player to free agency. They already let outfielders Nelson Cruz sign a multi-year deal with the Seattle Mariners and Nick Markakis walk away to a four-year deal with the Atlanta Braves.

They also lost a star reliever in Andrew Miller to the New York Yankees but this time it was catcher Nick Hundley‘s turn to walk away from Baltimore,

According to a report by Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Hundley, 31, has signed a two-year $6 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.

The Orioles wanted him back, they also would have liked Cruz and Miller back as well but they’ve been silent as all four signings, including Markakis, came and went. The Orioles were unsure of resigning Markakis due to a neck injury but they should have wanted him back as well.

Now the Orioles are short a backstop and need multiple outfielders as I noted in my post The state of the Orioles’ outfield.

They do however have some security at the catcher position as Matt Wieters is expected back after having Tommy John surgery last June. However it’s unclear right now as to when Wieters will be ready.

Matt Wieters. Getty Images.
Matt Wieters. Getty Images.

They also have Caleb Joseph, who will be starting his sophomore season, after splitting time behind the plate with Hunley last season but will need extra help if Wieters isn’t ready to start the season.

The Orioles traded for Hundley, who had spent his entire career with the San Diego Padres, when Wieters went down in May. Hundley hit .243/.273/.358 with six home runs and 22 RBI in 83 games last season between the two teams.

The Orioles didn’t trade for Hundley for his bat but for his experience behind the plate and ability to handle a young pitching staff which is why it was surprising when they declined his $5 million team option for 2015.

Connolly writes that Hundley gained a very good reputation while with the regining American League East Champion Orioles,

“Hundley received rave reviews from the pitching staff for his ability to call a game and the professionalism he displayed in the clubhouse.”

Reportedly they Orioles did offer him a two-year deal but lost out to the Rockies who could guarentee Hundley more playing time than the Orioles.

Hundley joins catchers Wilin Rosario and Michael McKenry on the Rockies and is believed to be the one to get the majority of the time behind the plate.

Rosario’s name has been mentioned in trade talks as some believe he would do better in an American League setting where he could be a designated hitter.

Rosario, 25, has battled injuries but is considered a good source of power. He hit .267/.305/.435 with 13 home runs in 106 games for the Rockies in 2014.

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