Source: Orioles agree to terms with Iglesias

The Orioles’ search for a veteran middle infielder with plus defensive skills at shortstop has led them to José Iglesias.

The sides have reached agreement on a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $3 million, according to a source. The contract includes a club option for 2021 that could push the total value to $6 million.

Iglesias-Fields-Reds-sidebar.jpgThe deal comes after the Orioles expressed early interest in shortstop Adeiny Hechavarría, who remains on the market, and José Peraza, who signed with the Red Sox after the Reds non-tendered him.

Interest in Iglesias appeared to increase later after the club passed on him previously.

Iglesias, who turned 30 yesterday, is joining his fourth team. He appeared in 146 games with the Reds last season and batted .288/.318/.407 with 21 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 530 plate appearances. He also registered a career-best 1.4 dWAR per Baseball-Reference.com.

Iglesias is a career .273/.315/.371 hitter in eight major league seasons, parts of the first three spent with the Red Sox. He placed second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 after slashing .303/.349/.386 in 109 games.

The Tigers acquired Iglesias on July 30, 2013 as part of a three-team trade that included the White Sox, and he made the All-Star team in 2015, a season that ended with him batting .300/.347/.370 in 120 games.

A poor reputation in the clubhouse followed Iglesias to Cincinnati, which signed him to a minor league deal last February, but he had no issues with the Reds and became a more enticing option for executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias.

The Cuba native switched agencies again and is represented by MVP Sports Group. He made $2.5 million last season and the Orioles could use him as a trade chip later this summer.

Elias has prioritized someone with Iglesias’ defensive skills and expressed a willingness to offer a major league contract. Jonathan Villar was traded to the Marlins and Richie Martin no longer holds Rule 5 status, which enables the Orioles to option him.

Hanser Alberto could settle in as the regular second baseman while Iglesias handles shortstop.

Iglesias is the second player signed by the Orioles to a major league deal, following right-hander Kohl Stewart, who received a split contract that pays $800,000 if he’s on the club.

The Orioles must clear a spot for Iglesias on the 40-man roster. They haven’t announced the deal.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand first reported the agreement and contract terms.

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