The Baltimore Orioles have secured much needed catching depth. They acquired catcher Nick Hundley and cash from the San Diego Padres in exchange for left-hander Troy Patton. Hundley had primarily been the Padres' backup catcher so far this season. He will head to Baltimore, where he will battle with Steve Clevenger and Caleb Joseph for starts at catcher.
The Orioles have been needing a catcher ever since starter Matt Wieters went down with an injury. The 28-year-old has not played since May 10 with an elbow injury. Many fear he needs Tommy John surgery. This trade with the Orioles may mean that Wieters will miss an extended amount of time, perhaps even the entire season.
The Padres have been carrying three catchers on their roster: Hundley, Yasmani Grandal, and Rene Rivera. They have needed some bullpen depth. The Orioles have had a surplus of relievers and have had a need in catching depth. The deal seems to be a perfect match.
In 33 games on the season, Nick Hundley has been hitting .271/.271/.373 with one home run and three runs batted in. Four of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases. Over his career, Hundley has been hitting .238/.296/.389 with 47 home runs and 195 runs batted in. As a catcher, Hundley's pitchers have a 4.05 ERA. However, that number could be helped by the fact that Petco Park is a pitcher's wonderland. Hundley has a 5.3 oWAR and a 2.8 dWAR over his career.
In return, the Padres will be receiving Troy Patton. He has a 8.10 ERA and a 5.30 FIP in 6.2 innings pitched for the Orioles this season. The main issue that Patton's ERA and FIPs are high is that he has a 5.4 BB/9 rate this season, compared to a 2.3 BB/9 rate over his career. However, this comes in a very small sample size. Over Patton's career, the 28-year-old is 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA and a 3.94 FIP in 161.2 innings pitched (129 ERA+). This comes with a career 7.1 SO/9 rate.
The swap fills needs for both teams by using surpluses (Orioles at relief pitcher, Padres at catcher), which makes it a fair deal. Neither Patton nor Hundley has yet to make a ton of noise in the Major Leagues, but in a change of scenery where both teams need one another, they may be able to provide dividends for both teams. We will have to see how they play as the season continues.