Major League Baseball might be halted from making moves, but it doesn’t stop the minors from locking up some players who might be in, if it happens, spring training.
Recently, the Baltimore Orioles signed catcher Anthony Bemboom and right-hander Matt Vogel to minor league deals. Most of us realize this is locking up players for spring training for 2022, but they are under the radar moves that could pay off at the big league level.
Bemboom is a former Rays and Angels catcher, who made his Major League debut in 2019. Better known for his defense than offense, the three-year veteran has a career .995 fielding percentage, while throwing out 40% of would be base stealers.
He does have four home runs in his career, as he has batted only .178 over his time in the bigs. He will make a good veteran presence for the young catchers and provide a stable option if needed for injury or days off.
Vogel was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2013 but went on to play college ball for three seasons before the Rays drafted him in 2016.
In two seasons in the minors, he has accumulated a 4-7 record across 34 games. He is 2-for-2 in saves and has seven holds in his career.
One of the biggest draws is that he has only allowed two home runs in 64 innings and has a 75 to 41 strikeout to walk ratio.
Not known for giving up many fly balls and a strong hard curve have given his prominence as a relief arm.
These under-the-radar signings allow for our minor league clubs to add some depth, while allowing the opportunity for spring training presence to turn heads and have a chance.
With the lockout slowing MLB free agency, the minors will be the hot stove to watch boil over.
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