Orioles on the verge of signing Cabrera

The Orioles are on the verge of signing infielder Everth Cabrera to a one-year deal, MLB.com has confirmed. Cabrera, who has already taken his physical, will be part of the O’s 40-man roster and presents a speedy option that could alter how the Orioles break camp.

With 99 steals in the last three seasons, Cabrera has played predominantly shortstop over his Major League career though he has also played a dozen games at second base. While J.J. Hard is firmly entrenched at shortstop, Cabrera could vie for the second base job or the utility infielder role, making for an interesting competition with him, Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop.

He owns a career .248/.319/.333 line in six Major League seasons and could also be a leadoff option for the O’s, who are looking to fill the spot since losing Nick Markakis.

A former National League All-Star who was non-tendered by the Padres this winter, Cabrera doesn’t come without some drawbacks. Besides being a player implicated –and suspended– in the Biogenesis scandal, the 28-year-old is facing a pending misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest during a Sept. 3 incident.

On that day, Cabrera was arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence for marijuana and was also cited for possession of the drug. If convicted he could face up to a year in jail. Cabrera has pleaded not guilty and the trial is set for mid-April.

The O’s, particularly under manager Buck Showalter, haven’t been afraid to take on players that come with baggage. Last season they added both Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young, who flourished in the clubhouse and on the field. They re-signed Young this winter.

Cabrera played in 90 games last season, twice going on the disabled list for hamstring issues.

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