The Orioles announced Tuesday that they’ve signed veteran infielder/outfielder Chris Owings to a minor league pact and invited him to Major League camp.
Owings, 30, appeared in 21 games with the Rockies last season and turned in a huge .326/.420/.628 batting line in 43 plate appearances before a broken thumb required surgery and ended his season. He hit .268/.318/.439 in a similarly small sample with the Rox during 2020.
Solid as Owings’ output in Colorado was, he’s a career .243/.288/.372 hitter in just shy of 2400 plate appearances at the MLB level. Owings is plenty versatile, having logged at least 500 innings at both middle infield slots, in center field and in right field. He’s also tallied 181 frames at the hot corner.
The Orioles’ infield situation is more or less wide open. Rougned Odor is the favorite at second base after signing a Major League contract prior to the lockout, but Jahmai Jones and non-roster invitee Shed Long Jr. will get a look as well. Utilityman Ramon Urias and former top prospect Jorge Mateo are in the mix at shortstop, while former Nationals and Royals prospect Kelvin Gutierrez could get a look at third base. Infield prospect Rylan Bannon remains on the 40-man roster but had a rough showing in the minors last season that he’ll need to put behind him if he’s to force his way into the picture at second base or third base.