Orioles re-sign Almanzar and Jones, sign seven others to minor league deals

The Orioles are taking care of minor league business today, re-signing infielder Michael Almanzar and left-hander Chris Jones, and signing seven players from outside the organization.

Also signed were left-handers Frank Gailey and Ronan Pacheco, infielder/outfielder Derrik Gibson, shortstop Ozzie Martinez and right-handers Tim Gustafson, Kenn Kasparek and Mikey O’Brien.

I wrote about Martinez on Monday. His signing became official today.

Gibson, 24, may be the most intriguing. The Red Sox selected him in the second round in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Seaford High School in Delaware - the same school that produced former second baseman Delino DeShields.

Gibson, who hasn’t received an invitation to spring training, is a utility infielder who also has experience in the outfield. He’s played in 439 games at shortstop, a position the Orioles wanted to upgrade defensively at the Triple-A level.

Gibson is a career .250/.339/.325 hitter in seven minor league seasons. He batted .302/.390/.395 in 85 games at Double-A Portland this year and .244/.282/.397 in 21 games at Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Orioles selected Almanzar, 23, in the Rule 5 draft in December and reacquired him from the Red Sox along with infielder Kelly Johnson on Aug. 30 for infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus. Almanzar became a free agent and will remain in the organization. Injuries limited him to five games at Triple-A Norfolk, where he went 2-for-17 with a home run.

Jones, 26, went 8-8 with a 3.61 ERA in 35 games (14 starts) with Norfolk. The Orioles designated him for assignment in spring training to make room for outfielder Nelson Cruz on the 40-man roster and released him after he cleared waivers. They re-signed him on March 3 and again today after he became a free agent.

Jones initially came to the Orioles in an April 2013 trade with the Braves for reliever Luis Ayala.

Gailey, 29, went 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in 40 relief appearances for Double-A Midland in the Athletics organization. The Blue Jays selected him in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft out of West Chester (Pa.) University. His minor league experience includes only one game at the Triple-A level.

The Braves signed Pacheco, 26, earlier this year from independent United League Baseball. He went 2-1 with a 10.80 ERA in nine appearances with Double-A Mississippi and 2-1 with a 4.59 ERA in 20 appearances with Single-A Lynchburg.

The Braves selected Gustafson, 29, in the ninth round of the 2006 draft out of Georgia Tech. He pitched in the independent Atlantic League this summer, going 2-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 57 games with Bridgeport. He walked 19 and struck out 71 in 64 innings.

The Mariners chose Kasparek, 29, in the 12th round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Texas, one year after the Nationals selected him in the 34th round. He posted a 3.86 ERA in five appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis of the Pirates organization and a 2.25 ERA in 31 appearances with Double-A Altoona.

The Yankees chose O’Brien, 24, in the ninth round of the 2008 draft out of Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke, Va. He went a combined 4-5 with a 4.40 ERA this summer in 29 games (19 starts) at Triple-A Louisville, Double-A Pensacola and Single-A Bakersfield in the Reds organization.

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