O's sign ex-Pirate Salazar to minor league deal

Outfielder receives invitation to major league spring training

January 15, 2010|By Jeff Zrebiec | jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Looking to add to their minor league outfield depth, the Orioles have signed former Pittsburgh Pirate Jeff Salazar to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training.

Salazar, 29, appeared in 21 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, going 1-for-23 (.046) with an RBI. With experience at all three outfield spots, Salazar is expected to start the season at Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles have plenty of outfield depth at the major league level with Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Lou Montanez, Felix Pie, Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott.

Salazar has appeared in 168 big league games for three different organizations, and has a career batting average of .232. He was an eighth-round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2002 after he was drafted by the Orioles in the 35th round in the 2000 draft but didn't sign.

He made his major league debut with the Rockies in 2006 and hit .283 (15-for-53) with a homer and eight RBIs in 19 games. He played in 38 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007, and 90 more for Arizona the following season, when he batted .211 (27-for-128) with two homers and 12 RBIs.

Salazar is a career .280 hitter in parts of eight minor league seasons. He is the 10th minor league free agent that the Orioles have signed this offseason and invited to big league spring training.

The others are pitchers Chris George, Mike Hinckley, Frank Mata, Josh Perrault, Alfredo Simon and Ross Wolf; infielder Scott Moore and catchers Michel Hernandez and Chad Moeller.

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