Infielder Steve Tolleson has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox that includes an invitation to spring training.
The Orioles attempted to re-sign Tolleson, who is out of options, but the White Sox view him as a potential super-utility player, which seems to provide a wider path to the majors. The Orioles recently signed infielder Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and currently have Ryan Flaherty, Robert Andino and Omar Quintanilla on their roster.
Tolleson most likely would have been the starting shortstop at Triple-A Norfolk next season if he re-signed with the Orioles, didn’t make the club out of spring training and passed through waivers.
Tolleson, who refused his outright assignment earlier this month and became a free agent, batted .183/.227/.310 with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 29 games over four stints with the Orioles in 2012. He hit a game-tying three-run homer off the Phillies’ Cliff Lee on June 10 at Camden Yards.
A favorite of manager Buck Showalter, Tolleson played second base, shortstop, third base and left field for the Orioles. He batted .278/.358/.346 with eight doubles, one homer and 21 RBIs in 50 games at Norfolk.
Showalter joked tonight that he felt like the runner-up in a Miss America pageant after losing out to Oakland’s Bob Melvin in voting for American League Manager of the Year.
“I thought he was very deserving,” Showalter said. “I didn’t know until I was listening to it (on MLB Network). That’s a good division this year - Anaheim, Texas, them. I would have probably voted for him, too.
“Those things are a reflection of the team and players. The only disappointment I would have is for the organization. It’s really a reflection of the scouts and player development and the organization.”