The Orioles have agreed to terms, pending physical, with veteran outfielder Endy Chavez, according to an industry source.
Chavez's 1-year deal is worth $1.5 million, with an additional $500,000 in incentives. He fits what the Orioles have been looking for: a left-handed hitter who can play left field and backup in center and right.
Chavez, 33, has played 10 seasons in the majors, including 83 games last season with the Texas Rangers. In 2011, Chavez hit .301 with a .323 on-base percentage, five homers and 10 steals in 256 at-bats. Known for his good speed and defensive prowess, Chavez also played in 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock last year.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said earlier this week that he has been attempting to add a left-handed outfielder who can back up Adam Jones in center and play left – perhaps in a platoon with right-handed hitting Nolan Reimold.
A native of Venezuela, Chavez has played with seven big league teams in his career: the Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Rangers.
He spent parts of four seasons with the Expos/Nationals and three with the Mets. His best year was 2006, when he drove in 42 runs, stole 12 bases and set career highs in batting average (.306) and on-base percentage (.348) for the Mets. He also made one of the greatest defensive plays in postseason history, leaping at the outfield wall in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to rob St. Louis’ Scott Rolen of a home run. Chavez quickly threw the ball into the infield to complete an inning-ending double play.
He missed part of 2009 and didn’t play in the majors at all in 2010 while rehabbing from a torn ACL in his right knee that he suffered during a collision in June, 2009.