The Orioles have added more depth for the organization, signing left-handed hitting outfielder Xavier Paul to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to a SportsNet Canada report.
The Orioles are expected to announce several minor league signings at some point this week, including infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Paul.
Paul, 28, is a 2003 fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers who has hit .254 with a .316 on-base percentage in parts of five seasons with the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds.
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He batted .244 with a .339 on-base percentage and a career-best seven home runs last year for the Reds, who didn’t tender him a contract earlier this month.
** Several media outlets have reported that the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a minor league deal with left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, whom the Orioles did not try to re-sign this offseason. Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million deal with the Orioles in December 2011, but due to elbow surgery he never pitched a game in the major leagues for the club. The Orioles did not pick up his 2014 option.
** If I’m not mistaken, the last time the Orioles had an offseason news conference to announce a player signing it was Wada’s two years ago. That should change Friday when Grant Balfour is expected to be introduced to the media. His two-year, $15 million deal should be announced today after the results of his physical are official.
** The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation has announced that their “Scout’s Dream Award” will be presented in January to former Oriole and 1967 first-round pick Bobby Grich, who ended up being a six-time All-Star for the Orioles and California Angels. Several scouts have told me that Grich, who was selected 19th overall in that draft, was one of the best amateur players they had ever seen. Another pick by the Orioles in that 1967 draft, second-rounder Don Baylor, will present Grich with the award. Grich, now 64, works in community relations with the Angels.
** Former Orioles player L.J. Hoes, whom the club traded to the Houston Astros in July as part of the deal for Bud Norris, is hosting a “Gift of Joy” toy drive on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Looney’s Pub in College Park. Hoes, who grew up in Mitchellville, is asking guests to bring an unwrapped, new toy to gain admission, free drink tickets and food. The first 50 people will receive a signed gift from Hoes. Proceeds benefit the St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home.