SARASOTA, Fla. - With a left-handed hitting outfielder on their shopping list and the first full-squad workout held later today, the Orioles announced that they’ve signed veteran Alex Presley to a minor league deal and invited him to camp.
The Orioles have 62 players at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Presley is a career .263/.306/.388 hitter in eight major league seasons with the Pirates, Twins, Astros, Brewers and Tigers. He appeared in 71 games with the Tigers last season and batted .314/.354/.416 with 10 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 20 RBIs in 264 plate appearances.
First baseman Chris Davis projects as the only left-handed hitter in the everyday lineup and the search could continue for a corner outfielder.
Presley, 32, is a career .273/.305/.346 hitter against left-handers and a .261/.306/.398 hitter versus right-handers. He plays all three outfield positions, with most of his experience in left. He made 17 starts in center last summer.
The Pirates drafted Presley in the eighth round in 2006 out of the University of Mississippi. He was traded to the Twins in 2013 for first baseman Justin Morneau.
The Orioles have held previous interest in Presley, who will be thrust into an outfield competition that includes Austin Hays, Joey Rickard, Craig Gentry and Jaycob Brugman, the latter a left-handed hitter. The Orioles also have switch-hitter Anthony Santander, a Rule 5 pick for the first 44 days of the season, on their camp roster.
Presley has been assigned uniform No. 47. They’re no longer holding it for Evan Meek.
The Orioles also signed infielders Corban Joseph and Sharlon Schoop to minor league deals and assigned them to Twin Lakes Park. They’re the brothers, respectively, of catcher Caleb Joseph and second baseman Sharlon Schoop and have previous experience in the organization.
Corban is the younger brother, Sharlon is the older.
Joseph, 29, spent last season in the Nationals system and batted a combined .275/.331/.398 in 89 games at Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. He played at Double-A Bowie in 2015 and at Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk the following year.
Joseph appeared in two games with the Yankees in 2013 and went 1-for-6 with a double, walk and run scored.
Schoop, 30, has been in the Orioles organization since 2014 without reaching the majors. He’s a career .245/.312/.342 in 12 minor league seasons.