Orioles sign ex-Astros 1B Brett Wallace to minor league deal, other pregame notes

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles have agreed to terms with former Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace on a minor league contract.

Wallace was at the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning taking his physical, and he is expected to report to minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park.

The 27-year-old hit .221/.284/.431 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs for Houston last season. He was released by the Astros 11 days ago after he was invited to camp as a nonroster player and hit just .143 in 14 spring training at-bats.

The Orioles formally announced the signing of Wallace and former Orioles reliever Luis Ayala before Sunday's game.

Along with David Adams, who was claimed by the Orioles on Saturday and was added to the 40-man roster, Wallace will give the club added infield depth. Both can play the corner infield spots, and Adams plays second base as well. But neither will compete for an Opening Day roster spot this late in camp.

Other notes:

-- Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is scheduled to start in a Triple-A game on Monday instead of pitching in the Grapefruit League game against the Boston Red Sox. With Opening Day a week away, Chen not pitching against Boston likely indicates that he will start the team’s third game of the season against the Red Sox. That also allows the Orioles to place their only left-handed starter in the middle of the rotation.

-- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said today that Manny Machado resumed running Saturday when the team was in Port Charlotte and came through it well. He took pregame infield drills today and tested his range with grounders to both sides. It should become more clear over the next few days whether he can possibly be ready for Opening Day.

-- Showalter said that Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar is sitting out with a sore knee after fouling a ball of the joint.

-- Catcher Caleb Joseph will likely be reassigned to minor league camp following today's game.

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