Pirates Sign Garrett Atkins

The Pirates announced that they signed Garrett Atkins to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. He'll earn $800K in the major leagues, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). Agent Jeff Blank represents Atkins.

The Orioles signed Atkins after the Rockies non-tendered him last offseason, but the O's released him in July. Atkins batted .214/.276/.286 in 152 plate appearances last year and saw his home run total dip for a fourth consecutive season.

If the signing works out, Atkins could spell first baseman Lyle Overbay against lefties. Overbay has a career .279/.375/.463 line against right-handers and Atkins has a career .294/.379/.467 line against southpaws, so there's a potential platoon fit here. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez also bats from the left side, so the Pirates could rest him against left-handers and play Atkins at the hot corner.

Atkins can play both corner infield positions, though most of his big league experience comes at third base. He will play under Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle, who managed him in Colorado. 

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