Orioles sign Nomar Mazara to minor league deal

SAN DIEGO – The Orioles are deepening their pool of left-handed-hitting corner outfielders.

Nomar Mazara signed a minor league contract this morning, providing more competition in camp for a role that’s been defined as a priority at the Winter Meetings.

Mazara, 27, hit 79 home runs in four seasons with the Rangers beginning in 2016, when he finished fifth in voting for American League Rookie of the Year. He had 30 doubles and drove in 101 runs in 2017.

The White Sox acquired Mazara in a Dec. 10, 2019 trade for outfielder Steele Walker, who made his major league debut this year. The Orioles are Mazara’s fourth organization since that day, including the 50 games he played for the Tigers in 2021 and 55 with the Padres this summer.

He’s totaled six home runs since leaving the Rangers, who gave him a $5 million signing bonus as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic.

The power was on full display on June 21, 2019, when he hit a home run estimated at 505 feet off Chicago’s Reynaldo López.

Mazara made the Tigers’ opening day roster in 2021 after receiving a contract worth $1.75 million plus incentives. He settled for a minor league deal with the Padres, who designated him for assignment in August after he slashed .264/.316/.352 in 171 plate appearances.

After clearing waivers, Mazara elected free agency and waited to find a new team.

The Orioles can dump Mazara, a career .256/.315/.414 hitter, into a mix of corner outfield competitors that includes Franchy Cordero, who signed a minor league deal on Friday.

Baseball-Reference.com calculates Mazara’s dWAR at minus-4.7.

* John Lowe, who spent the last 28 years of a career that began in 1979 as the Tigers beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, was elected the 2023 winner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America “Career Excellence Award,” presented annually to a sportswriter for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.

Lowe was named on 137 of 382 ballots to become the 74th winner of the award since its inception in 1962. The late Gerry Fraley, who had a nearly 40-year career as a beat writer in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas, received 135 votes for the smallest margin in history.

Bruce Jenkins, a baseball writer and columnist for almost half a century for the San Francisco Chronicle, was third with 106 votes.

Lowe, who covered more than 300 postseason games, including 147 in the World Series, will be honored during induction weekend July 21-24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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