The Orioles are bringing back veteran outfielder Craig Gentry, signing him to a minor league deal Wednesday afternoon.
Gentry, who has agreed on a deal that would earn him $900,000 in base salary if he makes the major league roster, according to an industry source, was a valuable contributor to last season’s team as a fourth outfielder as well as a defensive and speed upgrade off the bench. The Orioles also signed left-handers Élvis Araujo and David Holmberg to minor league deals.
Gentry has been invited to major league spring training and will again compete for a bench outfielder spot. Gentry made the Opening Day roster last season after signing a minor league deal and posting a .957 OPS with seven stolen bases in as many attempts in the spring.
The 34-year-old played in 77 games with the Orioles during the regular season, hitting .257/.333/.386 with two homers and 11 RBIs. He was 5-for-9 on stolen-base attempts. He made starts at all three outfield positions, including 12 starts in right and 11 in left, and overall logged two defensive runs saved.
The return of Gentry is the second outfield acquisition of the offseason. The team traded for left-handed platoon hitter Jaycob Brugman in a trade with the Oakland Athletics in November.
Gentry will be the ninth outfielder in the team’s major league camp, a group that includes three nonroster outfielders — Gentry, Cedric Mullins and DJ Stewart.
Araujo, 26, joins the Orioles with 72 games of major league experience — all with the Philadelphia Phillies and all in relief — in 2015 and 2016. He has a 4.35 ERA in 62 career innings. He spent last season with the Chunichi Dragons in the Japanese Central League, posting a 6.48 ERA in six relief appearances.
Holmberg, 26, was the Chicago White Sox’s second-round draft pick in 2009. He has 51 games of major league experience (19 starts) with a 5.49 ERA. He received his most major league work last season, going 2-4 with a 4.68 ERA in 37 games (seven starts) with the White Sox. He has also pitched in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds.