SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles are signing first baseman Pedro Alvarez to a minor league contract, according to an industry source. It’s the third straight year the Orioles have signed Alvarez, and the second straight year he’s signed a minor league deal.
In 2016, Alvarez hit .249 with 22 home runs and 49 RBIs in 109 games with the Orioles as their principal designated hitter. Last season, the Orioles signed him to a minor league deal and tried to make an outfielder.
That experiment was short-lived, and he spent most of the season with Triple-A Norfolk. As a September callup, Alvarez hit .313 with a home run and four RBIs.
Alvarez is seen as insurance for the Orioles as a designated hitter and backup first baseman. Barring injuries, he’s likely to start the season with Norfolk.
He was a postseason International League All-Star in 2017 when he hit .239 with 26 home runs and 89 RBIs for the Tides.
Alvarez is the sixth Orioles free agent from last season who has agreed to terms. He’s one of three, along with outfielder Craig Gentry and pitcher Chris Tillman to return to the Orioles.