The Orioles have signed OF Endy Chavez to a one year contract for $1.5 million. There are also incentives which could add $500,000 to the deal if reached.
The Orioles have yet to make any big trades or signings to help the major league club but Dan Duquette has done very well in improving the bench. Acquiring players like Taylor Teagarden, Matt Antonelli, Ryan Flaherty, and now Chavez will keep there from being a huge drop off when a starter is hurt or gets a day off. Chavez will be a very good fourth outfielder. Hes a great defender at all three outfield positions and can handle the bat. He doesn’t have great power or plate discipline but hits for a good average. Last year with the Texas Rangers he hit .301/.323/.426 with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homeruns, 27 RBI, and 10 stolen bases after being called up from AAA in late May. Chavez batted .305/.353/.445 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homeruns, 17 RBI, and 6 stolen bases with Round Rock. As it stands right now he’ll be the primary back up for Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis while getting a little more playing time in left field than the other spots. I don’t think he’ll platoon with Reimold but he’ll most likely get one or two starts a week out there. It remains to be seen whether the Orioles make a big splash this offseason but at least they’re getting the little things right with the depth signings and foray into the international market. Its pretty certain that this team isn’t going to do much in 2012 at this point unless something drastic happens but we can at least be respectable while waiting for the players to develop in the farm system and on the big league level.