SARASOTA, Fla. – This week, the Orioles signed a pair of players who have been involved in different controversies in the past -- outfielder Delmon Young and right-hander Alfredo Aceves -- to minor league deals.
But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday that the club did its due diligence on both players' past.
"We do a thing where, I don't know what other clubs do, but we do a background check,” Showalter said. “It's actually on paper. Everything. It might go back to their high school days."
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While with the Boston Red Sox, Aceves was suspended for three games in 2012 for conduct detrimental to the team. Later that season, he got into an argument with second baseman Dustin Pedroia in the dugout in Oakland. He was also ejected from a World Baseball Classic game last year after he was involved in a brawl while pitching for Mexico against Canada.
Young received a 50-game suspension as a minor leaguer in 2006 when a bat he flung following a called third strike hit the home-plate umpire. In 2012, Young pled guilty to aggravated harassment for uttering an anti-Semitic slur in New York City.
Showalter values the chemistry inside the Orioles clubhouse, and he has worked hard since arriving in Baltimore to have a good clubhouse where the players police themselves.
“Peer pressure is very strong,” Showalter said. “I'm not naive. ... I thought about it. But I look at it as, Dan [Duquette] and our people have a lot of confidence in the coaching staff and the players we have here. They're talented young men. I look at it as the start of something good. But I'm not naive. But I think it's my job, and I look at it as a real confidence in me and the staff, and in our players.”
Showalter, who said he has had great interactions with both players this week, said both contracts -- which are minor league deals -- have clauses that allow the team to protect itself if problems arise.
“We've left ourselves a lot of wiggle room with the players,” Showalter. “I think we have a lot more flexible roster than we've had in the past, whether it be people with options or people who are not here on a major league roster who have a commitment. There's a lot of people who we have walk-away points. They have to please us, or please their teammates more importantly, and show us they can fit into the culture we're trying to have here, that you have to have to be successful.”