SARASOTA, Fla. - Failing to secure a new right fielder in spring training, the Orioles decided to go after another home run bat.
The club has agreed to terms with Pedro Alvarez on a one-year deal, multiple sources confirmed tonight. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune was first with the news.
Alvarez will receive $5.75 million, plus another $1.25 million in incentives, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
The deal is contingent on Alvarez passing a physical. Always an important notation.
Another Scott Boras client is in the fold.
Also, Hyun Soo Kim has been projected as the left fielder, but Trumbo could get at-bats at the position. Kim is still searching for his first spring hit after 18 at-bats.
Trumbo wasn’t the Orioles’ first choice for right field, of course, but Dexter Fowler spurned them for the Cubs after the sides appeared to reach agreement and Austin Jackson signed with the White Sox. They’ve been talking to the Reds about Jay Bruce, but couldn’t consummate a deal.
Fowler and Jackson could have received more money from the Orioles, but they weren’t going to move Adam Jones out of center field.
The Orioles have been interested in Alvarez since early in free agency, though Davis’ return on a seven-year, $161 million contract appeared to put Trumbo in the DH slot. Alvarez is another left-handed hitter for a lineup that leaned strongly to the right.
The Pirates made Alvarez, now 29, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft before non-tendering him this winter. He’s a career .236/.309/.441 hitter in six seasons, but he averages 29 home runs in 162 games and topped out at 36 in 2013.
He also had 186 strikeouts that summer and averages 177 per season. The Orioles will take the good with the not-so-good.
The Pirates last season moved Alvarez from third base, where he committed 23 errors and registered a .978 fielding percentage. Boras has been selling Alvarez as a much better fielder than the numbers indicate, but the Orioles want him for his bat.
Alvarez doesn’t possess the on-base capabilities that the team has been seeking, but he’s a presence in the lineup. It’s just a question of where manager Buck Showalter will slot him.
Utility infielder Ryan Flaherty will celebrate the arrival of Alvarez, his college roommate at Vanderbilt University. They’re an odd couple, but they remain close friends.
Joey Rickard’s chances of making the club may have increased tonight. The Rule 5 pick is a plus defender who can play all three outfield positions. Nolan Reimold also can move around the outfield.
Alvarez, who made $5.75 million last season, batted .243/.318/.469 with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs in 150 games in 2015. He’s 5-for-22 in five games at Camden Yards.
The Orioles will need to remove a player from the 40-man roster to create a spot for Alvarez.