O's agree to terms with Izturis on one-year deal (UPDATE - Green hasn't signed with O's)
A day after acquiring shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility infielder Brendan Harris from the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Cesar Izturis.
The deal, which is pending a physical, also includes incentives based mostly on playing time.
Izturis, a former Gold Glove winner, has been the Orioles' starting shortstop the past two seasons, but the club acquired Hardy to upgrade offensively at the position.
However, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail still wanted Izturis back, even in a lesser role.
"We were anxious to bring him back if only in a utility capacity," MacPhail said. "He’s like having an additional coach on the field. With Hardy and [Brian] Roberts being nicked up for part of the time last season, we wanted to make sure we were comfortable with that backup and Izzy gives us that comfort. He’s just a good influence to have around."
MacPhail said that he believes there is enough opportunity for both Harris and Izturis to be on the Opening Day roster.
"We definitely can have room for both," MacPhail said. "Harris can play third. He can play other positions, but he pretty much has to make the team out of spring training. He’ll be in a competition with [Robert] Andino and others. We always wanted to bring Izzy back. We just wanted to do more offensively at short."
I reported earlier that the Orioles signed veteran utility infielder Nick Green to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training.
They have not. The Orioles had interest in Green and the feeling was mutual, but it was dependent on the team's other middle infield options. When the Orioles acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility man Brendan Harris from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday and then re-signed Cesar Izturis today, the moves likely mean that they will not be adding Green.
Sorry for the confusion.
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