The Orioles have signed another player to a minor league contract that doesn’t include a spring training invitation, reaching agreement with Scott Savastano, who will report to Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.
Agent Joe Rosen tweeted the news, offering congratulations on the signing.
Savastano, 27, has spent all six of his professional seasons in the Mariners organization and is a career .282/.360/.406 hitter. He batted .235/.293/.328 in 58 games with Triple-A Tacoma this year, with four doubles, two triples, three homers and 20 RBIs.
Savastano, a native of Plymouth, Mass., has played every position in the minors except center field. He’s pitched in four games, allowing an unearned run over 3 1/3 innings, and caught twice.
As far as versatility goes, this guy has got it nailed down.
Yesterday, the Orioles signed left-hander Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal without a spring invite. They inked 39-year-old pitcher Juan Vizcaino and infielder Brock Bond to similar deals last week.
Manager Buck Showalter is known to summon players from the minor league camp to fill out his rosters in exhibition games, especially during split-squads. He has “just-in-case” players - made available in case of emergencies or extreme situations.
Meanwhile, reliever Grant Balfour appeared on MLB Network this morning and said the following when asked about his health:
“Obviously, I signed yesterday and made it all official. I’m actually here at The Trop right now and out there throwing. The ball’s coming out nice and I feel great. To be honest I put on about five pounds here this offseason and I feel strong. I’ve been getting all my workouts in and I’m ready to go. There’s no question in my mind that I’m 100 percent. My arm feels great.
“I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to sit here and talk. I’ll leave it up to you guys to see when I’m out there on the mound.”
Asked why the Orioles backed away following his physical, Balfour said, “I don’t know. All the reports and things that came out, one was the shoulder, then it was this and that. I didn’t know if it was going to be my toenail on my big toe or what it was. It was more frustrating than anything, knowing I’m fully healthy. I haven’t been on the DL for eight years for anything with my arm. I’ve been putting up numbers. I just thought it was a little unfair, in my honesty.
“All these things are going to take care of themselves, and at the end of the day, I’m sitting here in Tampa and me and my family are very happy.”
During yesterday’s press conference to announce his signing, Balfour hinted to reporters that he still may file a grievance against the Orioles.
“I’m not going to comment on it. We’ll see what happens,’’ he said. “I’m here to stay. I have a contract with the Rays, and anything else that’s going to happen on that part will be taken care of, and we’ll move forward. That’s not going to affect anything I’ve got going here. I’m moving on. I’m glad to be here, really happy to be here. That stuff is going to be taken care of by other people on my behalf.”