Make that two roster moves for the Orioles this weekend.
According to sources, Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia will meet the Orioles in Texas on Friday and be placed on the 24-hour taxi squad. He most likely will have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk after working out with the team.
Urrutia is batting a combined .365/.427/.531 with 20 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 43 RBIs in 52 games at Double-A Bowie 15 games at Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles can use Urrutia as a left-handed designated hitter, perhaps giving him an occasional start in left field. His defense has improved, but he’s getting to the majors because of his bat.
Urrutia, who played for the World Team in Sunday’s Futures Game, agreed to terms on a $778,500 signing bonus with the Orioles in July 2012. However, he didn’t make it out of Haiti until late February due to issues obtaining his work visa.
The Orioles must make room for Urrutia on the 25- and 40-man rosters. Is Chris Dickerson’s spot in jeopardy? Ryan Flaherty could be optioned, since he’s barely playing.
As for the 40-man move, one possibility is transferring pitcher Steve Johnson to the 60-day disabled list. Johnson, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, threw a bullpen session today.
Urrutia played for Las Tunas in the Cuban League from 2006-10 and batted .350 with 72 doubles, nine triples, 33 home runs, 219 RBIs and 209 runs. He also represented Cuba in the 2010 World Championships.
Urrutia batted .397/.461/.597 with 12 homers, 32 walks and 23 strikeouts in 305 at-bats in his final season in Cuba. He didn’t play in 2011 due to a suspension after an unsuccessful attempt at defection.
I reported earlier today that infielder Danny Valencia will be recalled on Friday, with Nolan Reimold possibly headed to the disabled list.
Note: The Orioles agreed to terms with Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez, 24, on a $800,000 contract. He confirmed the deal to MLB.com.
Alvarez could sign on Saturday.
Alvarez, a right-handed hitter, defected last summer and played professionally in Mexico. In 2012, he played for La Liga Invernal Veracruzana and batted .354/.371/.521 with two home runs in 152 at-bats.
Read more about him here.
Photo courtesy of Norfolk Tides/Elaina Ellis