SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles agreed to terms with slugger Pedro Alvarez on a one-year, $5.75 million deal Monday night, adding more power to their batting order.
But where will Alvarez fit in the Orioles lineup?
There are several ways the Orioles could line up with Alvarez in the fold, but most of them have Alvarez as the team's starting designated hitter.
Alvarez came up as a third baseman, and the Orioles have a fine defender there in two-time Gold Glove winner Manny Machado. While playing third base, Alvarez led the National League in errors for three straight years from 2012 to 2014.
The Pittsburgh Pirates tried to shift Alvarez to first base full time last season, and his 23 errors were most in the majors by a first baseman.
So it's easy to see that an American League team was most likely going to sign Alvarez.
This also means that Mark Trumbo would likely receive most of his at-bats at the right field position. Keep in mind that Trumbo is a better first baseman than right fielder, and Chris Davis has played well in right field. And Orioles manager Buck Showalter emphasizes defense and always wants to utilize players' best defensive capabilities.
It's pure speculation – especially since the club opened their checkbook to retain Davis with a seven-year, $161 million deal to be the team's first baseman – but the Orioles could have Davis shift to right field and allow Trumbo to play first base.
The acquisition of Alvarez also might eventually signal the end of Jimmy Paredes' time with the Orioles. Alvarez gives the Orioles an additional DH bat from the left side.
Paredes, who was trying to show the team this spring that he could hold his own defensively in the outfield -- is currently out with a wrist injury, and his recovery time is unclear. Whether he returns from injury later this spring or during the season, Paredes must definitely now show he is capable of playing the outfield.
Bottom line, the Orioles can't carry two players who won't see time defensively.
The acquisition of Alvarez, who adds another high-power, low-OBP, also makes Nolan Reimold -- who had continued to show patience at the plate this spring -- more important.