The Orioles have traded catcher Brian Ward and relief pitcher Ryan Webb to the Dodgers for pitcher Ben Rowen and catcher Chris O'Brien on Thursday, reports CSNBaltimore.com. The Dodgers will also receive a competitive balance pick from the Orioles. Ward, who was catching for Triple-A Norfolk, was expected to be an option as a backup catcher with the team prior to the trade. Webb posted an ERA of 6.75 in 6 2/3 innings pitched, giving up eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks this spring. Rowen finished the spring with a 5.40 ERA, giving up five hits and striking out one batter. O'Brien spent spring training with Double-A Chattanooga in 2014.
With Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph expected to open the season as the team's primary backstop in place of Matt Wieters, who isn't expected to be ready to catch by Opening Day, manager Buck Showalter is prioritizing defense in his decision on the team's No. 2 catcher, MLB.com reports. The team's internal options include Ryan Lavarnway, Steve Clevenger, J.P. Arencibia and Brian Ward. "I think everybody that we're considering has some track record of being able to do some things offensively with the exception of Brian Ward," Showalter said. "There's not a big offensive track record behind him. Lavarnway may have as good if not better numbers than all of them in the Minor Leagues if you really look at them. So I think we've got the potential to get both of that, but the first criteria that they have to satisfy is the defensive part of it."
The Orioles announced Monday they optioned pitcher Oliver Drake to Triple-A Norfolk. They also assigned infielder Michael Almanzar, pitcher Dane De La Rosa, pitcher Chris Jones and catcher Brian Ward have to minor-league camp.
The Orioles announced their spring-training roster Tuesday, including 15 nonroster invitees. Pitchers Dane De La Rosa, Hunter Harvey, Mark Hendrickson, Steve Johnson, Chris Jones and Chaz Roe will be with the team this spring. Harvey, the team's first-round pick in 2013, had his 2014 season end prematurely due to elbow tightness. The sextet of nonroster pitchers will be joined in camp by catchers J.P. Arencibia, Ryan Lavarnway and Brian Ward; infielders Michael Almanzar, Paul Janish and Chris Parmelee; and outfielders Dariel Alvarez, Nolan Reimold and Matt Tuiasosopo .
The Orioles announced Monday they optioned Tim Berry and Michael Ohlman to Double-A Bowie. Baltimore also reassigned Brian Ward to minor-league camp.
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