Os agree to terms with Chavez
The Orioles crossed an item off their offseason shopping list, bolstering their outfield depth by agreeing to terms with veteran Endy Chavez on Sunday night.
Chavez’s deal is a Major League contract for one-year, confirmed a baseball source, and the expectation is the left-handed hitting Chavez will serve as a platoon in left field with Nolan Reimold. Chavez played 66 games in centerfield last season, giving executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette the necessary backup for Adam Jones.
Chavez, who will turn 34 before the start of the 2012 season, made a solid big-league return last season with the Rangers, batting .301 in 83 games. The Orioles will be his seventh team in 10 years.
Duquette had referenced just last week that his preference would be to find a left-handed hitting outfielder who could spell Jones if necessary. The 26-year-old Jones is deemed virtually untouchable in a trade –the organization would have to blown away by a deal – and Chavez’s signing doesn’t change that stance.
What it does do, is add another veteran player and give manager Buck Showalter some flexibility in using Reimold and Chavez. The departure of the left-handed hitting Felix Pie, who signed a Minor League deal with Cleveland this winter, left the Orioles without a true backup for Jones. Speedy outfielder Matt Angle, who bats left-handed and plays center field, made his Major League debut last season although the organization wanted him to get infield work this winter, hinting at perhaps a position change or more of a utility role.
The agreement with Chavez was first reported by the Venezuelan website Lider En Deportes. It is stil pending a physical.