O’s Add Tatum For Catcher Depth

The Orioles added a back-up catcher to their roster today, claiming Craig Tatum off of waivers from the Reds. To make room, the team designated left-handed pitcher Chris Waters (who I haven’t “Better Known” yet) for assignment.  Tatum’s 26 years old and has just 77 career plate appearances in the majors (all this year), batting .162/.250/.221. He’s never been much of a hitter – even in the minors – but comes with a pretty good defensive reputation (devil_fingers at DrivelineMechanics had him as 1.1 runs above average in his limited time this year, so I wouldn’t go crazy thinking his glove will make up for his bat). Tatum’s pretty much a replacement level player – but, then again, so is Waters – so this is largely a lateral move. I might have been more inclined to add Steven Johnson to the roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, but that’s just me.

As to whether or not this makes Chad Moeller superfluous, I would say not necessarily. He wasn’t as good of a defensive catcher (-2.1 runs), but he’s a better hitter and I doubt the price will be prohibitive. It’s not particularly important in the grand scheme of things though.