Orioles sign Berry
The Orioles have signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the club announced on Friday.
Berry gives the O’s another left-handed hitter option and a badly-needed stolen base threat, particularly with the departure of Nate McLouth. The 29-year-old has played all three outfield spots and is a close friend and childhood friend of current centerfielder Adam Jones.
“He’s a good outfielder with good legs and an excellent base stealer,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Berry, who is 29-for-29 in career stolen base attempts, including the postseason with the World Champion Red Sox this fall. “And he’s a good on-base man against right-handed pitching.”
Berry –who made his debut in 2012 with Detroit– owns a career .277/.357/.372 line against righties and joins David Lough and Francisco Peguero as outfield additions who could replace McLouth in left field. Duquette also mentioned Henry Urrutia, coming off a solid Arizona Fall League campaign, as an option to help the big-league club out of camp.
The Orioles priority for the remainder of the winter is pitching, with Duquette saying that “could” include adding both starting and relief help. The O’s ideally could use a closer –after trading away Jim Johnson earlier this offseason– in addition to another starter.
“We are still trying to help our Major League pitching staff,” said Duquette, who attended a memorial service for outfielder Paul Blair earlier in the day.
“We are still looking to address all the needs on our shopping list, but we have been able to add some left-handed hitters here recently.”