"It's been tough for me the last two seasons, because I was healthy and, in my mind, playing well. But now that I've been given this opportunity, I just want to capitalize on it. It's just a great feeling. I'm ready to work hard and get after it."
A top prospect in Texas when Showalter was managing there, Teagarden spent parts of the past four seasons with the Rangers and has struggled to consistently hit at the Major League level. With Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba both ahead of him on the depth chart, Teagarden proved to be dispensable, and the Orioles came calling early this winter to express their interest.
In return, Baltimore sent Texas Class A right-handed reliever Randy Henry, who went 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 2011, and a player to be named after the Rule 5 Draft next Thursday.
Teagarden adds immediate depth to the O's 40-man roster, on which Wieters is the only catcher, and Teagarden's familiarity with Showalter -- as well as the large number of Rangers transplants on the O's roster -- should make for a smooth transition. A career .262 hitter in the Minors, Teagarden has a solid arm and great makeup, and he will take the place of Craig Tatum, whom the Orioles lost on waivers to the Astros earlier this offseason.
"Taylor's ability to lead the pitching staff and control the running game is a very dependable skill and will help stabilize our ballclub," Duquette said. "I'm glad to have Taylor join the organization, and the fact that Buck knows and likes him, I think, is a big plus for everybody."
Teagarden's arrival will help spell the 25-year-old Wieters, whom Showalter would like to give more rest in 2011. Wieters was selected to his first All-Star Game last season, playing in 139 games.
Duquette has already stressed he will be active in the trade market this winter and said Thursday that the club is still committed to adding catching depth beyond Teagarden at both the Major and Minor League level. Wieters is one of only a few Orioles viewed as untouchable in terms of a trade.
Teagarden, who was added to the 40-man roster in place of left-handed pitcher Pedro Viola (who was designated for assignment), said he has no problem with the backup role.
"The last few years in the big leagues, I've kind of been playing that role as it is," Teagarden said. "I'm used to playing a couple times a week, depending on the injury situation. It's not a situation I'm upset about by any means. Whatever is asked of me, I'll just take it on 100 percent. I understand how to stay in shape and stay as fresh as I can."