The Orioles announced two minor league signings today, and one is a familiar name. At least the last name is.
The club signed 26-year-old infielder Sharlon Schoop, who is the older brother of the club’s top infield prospect, 22-year-old Jonathan Schoop. The elder Schoop last played in 2012 with the Kansas City Royals’ Double-A affiliate in Arkansas, hitting .267 with a .341 on-base percentage in 50 games. He is primarily a shortstop but has played all four infield positions and some corner outfield.
The Orioles also signed outfielder Ronald Bermudez, a 25-year-old outfielder from Venezuela who played at two levels in the Boston Red Sox organization in 2013. The right-handed hitter batted .261 with a .299 on-base percentage in 67 games between Double-A and Triple-A last year.
In other news, the Kansas City Royals announced the signing of free-agent left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year deal worth reportedly $32 million. The signing was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
It's noteworthy for the Orioles, since Vargas had long been on their radar. They made overtures to deal for the veteran lefty each of the past three seasons, when he was with the Seattle Mariners, and last summer, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. They had interest in him this offseason, but typically do not offer four-year deals to free-agent pichers.
Vargas, 30, was 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season in 24 starts with the Angels. He missed six weeks after having a blood clot in his left arm removed.