The Orioles announced that they’ve re-signed outfielder-turned-pitcher Dariel Alvarez to a minor league contract. Baltimore had only just begun to convert Alvarez from the outfield to the mound when he suffered an elbow injury that will likely lead to Tommy John surgery. In need of a 40-man spot, the O’s released Alvarez last week, though reports shortly thereafter indicated that they hoped to work out a new minor league pact.
Alvarez, 28, defected from Cuba and signed with the Orioles back in 2013. However, while he’s performed decently in parts of three Triple-A seasons, he’s never dominated the level or shown the proficiency needed for the O’s to consider him for a regular spot in their outfield. In 304 games with Norfolk, Alvarez has batted .285/.317/.409 — numbers that closely resemble the .250/.314/.406 line he’s managed in 35 Major League plate appearances.
Alvarez’s excellent arm has reportedly been a consistent point of interest for the Orioles, though, which served as the impetus for his transition to the mound. Though he figures to miss the entire 2017 season, he’ll rehab with the only Major League organization he’s ever known and could conceivably return to the Orioles for the 2018 campaign as well, when he can resume his work on the mound.