The Orioles added to their outfield depth Wednesday by acquiring Peyton Burdick from the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash, growing a spring training battle for a backup role with Baltimore.

To make room for Burdick, Baltimore transferred right-hander Félix Bautista to the 60-day injured list — a procedural move because Bautista, recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, has already been ruled out for the 2024 season.

Pitchers and catchers reported to Sarasota, Florida, for the first day of spring training Wednesday. Position players are due to report by next week, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 20.

Burdick was designated for assignment last week. The 26-year-old, whom the Marlins drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft, can play all three outfield positions and has two minor league options remaining. That may give him a leg up on Ryan McKenna, another versatile outfielder, because McKenna is out of minor league options.

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At least a half dozen players are vying for the fourth outfield spot. Burdick joins McKenna, Sam Hilliard, Daniel Johnson, Colton Cowser, Heston Kjerstad and Kyle Stowers in vying for playing time behind mainstays Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays.

Kjerstad and Cowser made their major league debuts last season and are still considered high-ranking prospects in Baltimore’s farm system. While Kjerstad is limited to a corner outfield position, Cowser can also play in center when required. McKenna has served as the major league depth option since debuting in 2021, and he finished last year with a .254 average. Most of McKenna’s starts came against left-handed pitching, offering the left-handed-hitting Mullins a reprieve from a difficult matchup.

Cowser struggled in his limited time in the big leagues, hitting .115 in 26 games. Slow starts to a new level have been a theme for Cowser, however, and he’s broken out in the past. Kjerstad played just 13 games, and while his average sat at .233, he did show his immense left-handed power with two homers in 30 at-bats.

Burdick hasn’t found much success during brief stints in the majors, either. In 46 games between 2022 and 2023 for Miami, Burdick hit .200 with a .649 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He hit just .219 in Triple-A last season but clubbed 24 homers at that level to showcase his power potential.

Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias values organizational depth and roster flexibility, and Burdick offers that.

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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