For the second season in a row, outfielder Michael Bourn could provide the Orioles some insurance for young outfielder Joey Rickard.
Bourn, two weeks after opting out of the minor-league contract he signed with the Orioles during spring training, is back on a new minor-league deal, according to an industry source. Bourn suffered a broken finger just days after reporting, and this is around the time when a return to action was expected.
The veteran outfielder, who hit .283 with two home runs and two stolen bases in 24 games with the Orioles last season, had requested his release in the spring, but the club was always hoping to bring him back. The deal doesn't require them to add him to the 25-man roster as early as the previous contract did.
He will report to extended spring training before heading to a minor-league affiliate.
Bourn came to the Orioles in a trade ahead of last season's waiver claim deadline, and ended up filling Rickard's role as a platoon outfielder after the rookie tore a ligament in his thumb.
On Sunday, Rickard went on the disabled list with a sprained middle finger suffered on a slide into second base. Manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't think it's serious, but the timing is eery when comparing the circumstances.
Once Bourn is ready for game action, he'll likely join a crowded outfield at Triple-A Norfolk, where Pedro Álvarez is learning right field and Chris Dickerson, Logan Schafer, and Henry Urrutia are all getting action. The Tides could also soon add outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who is working back from offseason surgeries.
On the major league roster, the Orioles have Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim, Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, Trey Mancini and Craig Gentry in the outfield.
ESPN.com first reported Bourn was re-signing.