Orioles add power hitter Alvarez
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Pedro Alvarez was intrigued by the power already in the Baltimore Orioles' batting order.
''Who wouldn't want to come and potentially be in a lineup with the guys that are here already?'' Alvarez said Thursday after Baltimore finalized his $5.75 million, one-year contract. ''This is a very potent lineup already. Any time you can have a lineup like that, it's a big headache for the other team. Everyone's a threat.''
A 29-year-old power hitter, Alvarez has 131 homers in six major league seasons, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was an All-Star in 2013. He hit .243 with 27 homers, 77 RBIs and 131 strikeouts last year.
Alvarez, who became a free agent in December when Pittsburgh failed to offer a contract, is likely to get most of his action as the Orioles' designated hitter.
''My job is to help this team in whatever capacity they need me at, so whether that's DH or that's in the field, I'm confident I can bring a lot of help to this team and that's the reason why I'm here. Whatever is needed of me, that's what I'll do,'' Alvarez said.
Pittsburgh shifted Alvarez from third base to first late in the 2014 season because of his poor defense, and Alvarez remained at first last year. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Alvarez won't be limited to a DH role.
''Some people don't realize this is an athletic guy who's got potential to give us a lot of options around the field. He's just not going to be a pure DH,'' Showalter said. ''He's shown the ability to damage against left-handed pitching, too.''
Alvarez could earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances in the deal announced Thursday: $200,000 each for 350, 400, 450, 500 and 550, and $250,000 for 600.
To make room for Alvarez on the 40-man roster, Baltimore released right-hander Andrew Triggs.