Orioles Acquire Outfielder Alejandro de AzaPosted on August 30, 2014 by Paul Folkemer
The Orioles added to their outfield depth Aug. 30, acquiring veteran outfielder Alejandro de Aza from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar.
De Aza, 30, was batting .246/.312/.358/.670 with five home runs and 31 RBIs during 121 games for the White Sox. While he is having a down season in 2014, de Aza put up solid numbers as an everyday player for Chicago in 2012 and '13, posting an OPS of .760 and .728, respectively.
De Aza also brings defensive versatility to the Orioles' outfield, having played 314 career games in center field, 211 in left field and 37 in right.
"He's a multi-talented outfielder," said Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. "He's good in left. He can play center field. He had two very good years in '12 and '13 where he hit for power, and he gives us a veteran outfielder that we can use to supplement our team."
De Aza has spent the past five seasons with the White Sox after beginning his career with the Florida Marlins. During his career, de Aza has a .268/.331/.398/.728 batting line with 35 home runs and 179 RBIs during 545 games. He also has 77 stolen bases in 110 attempts.
De Aza, a left-handed hitter, carries stark career splits, posting a .748 career OPS against right-handers compared to .670 against lefties. His ability to hit right-handed pitching appealed to the Orioles, who have mostly used right-handed hitters Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young in left field for the past few weeks.
"We have been looking to get a little bit better balance to our lineup with the addition of a left-handed hitter," Duquette said. "De Aza's a left-handed hitter that can help balance out the lineup and contribute to the team. And we thought it was important to continue to add major league players that can help us in September and can also be eligible for the postseason when we advance.
"He's very good against right-handed pitching. That's his strength. He can play the outfield. He's a good defensive outfielder in left, and he can run and he can steal a base. So I'm sure [manager] Buck [Showalter] will find the right opportunity to use his skills to help the ball club."
The Orioles acquired de Aza prior to the Aug. 31 trade deadline, making him eligible to be included on the Birds' postseason roster if they make it to the playoffs.
Duquette added that the Orioles will continue to pursue possible trades prior to the deadline.
"We're going to continue to look around today and tomorrow," Duquette said. "We've been working hard on the waiver wire and having discussions with other ball clubs, so hopefully we'll be able to add so that we have enough players for the stretch drive."
De Aza is expected to report to the Orioles Aug. 31.
Chalas, 22, had a 4.48 ERA during 30 games this season, 28 of which were for Single-A Frederick. Chalas was 24-21 with a 3.73 ERA during five minor league seasons for the Birds, appearing in 115 games, 42 starts.
Blackmar, 22, was 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA during 26 games (18 starts) for Frederick this year. During his four-year minor league career, Blackmar was 21-13 with a 3.75 ERA during 74 games, 36 starts.
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