NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette passed along a few nuggets of news during his eight-minute session with the media in his suite at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center and Resort.
Duquette confirmed that he won’t attempt to sign free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher, whose representatives met with the Orioles last night. Duquette said the Orioles have enough outfielders after re-signing Nate McLouth, and he dismissed the possibility that Swisher could play first base.
Told that many fans reacted negatively to the possibility that Swisher could join the club, Duquette said they “don’t need to worry about that.”
Duquette remains in the market for a power hitter to plug into the middle of the lineup, but it won’t be Swisher.
The Orioles have agreed to terms with first baseman Conor Jackson on a minor league contract with a spring training invite.
Jackson, 30, hit .277/.363/.434 with 23 doubles, nine homers and 41 RBIs in 88 games with Triple-A Charlotte this year. He last played in the majors in 2011, appearing in 102 games with the Athletics and 12 with the Red Sox. He’s a career .271/.351/.407 hitter in parts of seven major league seasons, including six with the Diamondbacks.
Jackson has played first base, third base, left field and right field in the majors.
The Orioles confirmed that they also signed outfielders Lew Ford and Jason Pridie, pitchers Daniel McCutchen and Adam Russell, and catchers Allan De San Miguel, Jose Gil and Chris Robinson to minor league deals with spring invites. San Miguel and Robinson will participate in the World Baseball Classic.
The Orioles also have signed 18-year-old left-hander Jan Novak of the Czech Republic.
Novak was invited to participate in the MLB European Academy, a yearly three-week camp for prospects held in Tirrenia, Italy, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In eight games during the 2011-2012 academies, Novak struck out 27 batters and allowed just 11 hits over 22 innings, and permitted only six earned runs for a 2.45 ERA.
Novak also played in the IBAF 18-and-under AAA World Championships in Seoul, South Korea in 2012.
Duquette said he met with four or five teams today. He still expects the club to be active in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft.
Quotes to follow.