Tolleson refuses outright assignment

Infielder Steve Tolleson has refused his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk and elected to become a free agent.

The Orioles designated Tolleson on Friday to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

Tolleson, 29, batted .183/.227/.310 with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 29 games over four stints with the Orioles in 2012. He hit a game-tying three-run homer off the Phillies’ Cliff Lee on June 10 at Camden Yards.

Tolleson played second base, shortstop, third base and left field for the Orioles. He batted .278/.358/.346 with eight doubles, one homer and 21 RBIs in 50 games at Norfolk when he wasn’t riding the shuttle to the majors.

The Orioles are attempting to re-sign Tolleson to a minor league deal, but he will explore other opportunities before making a decision.

Left-hander Zach Phillips, designated for assignment on Friday, also became a free agent.

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