1:09pm: Mazara will make $1.5MM if he cracks the major league roster, per Andy Kostka of The Baltimore Banner.
11:40am: The Orioles have signed outfielder Nomar Mazara to a minor league contract, per a team announcement. Presumably, he’ll be in Major League camp this spring. Mazara is repped by CAA sports.
Once considered one of baseball’s 20 to 30 best prospects, the now-27-year-old Mazara has settled in as a journeyman corner outfielder who’s played for four different big league teams over the past four seasons. Debuting as a 21-year-old back in 2016, Mazara belted 20 homers and hit .266/.320/.419 as a rookie with the Rangers but never advanced his offensive profile much beyond that point. He swatted exactly 20 homers in each of his first three MLB seasons and 19 in his fourth, but regularly did so with sub-par walk rates, on-base percentages and defense in right field.
Traded to the White Sox prior to the truncated 2020 season, Mazara bottomed out with a .228/.295/.294 batting line in 149 plate appearances with the South Siders. A 2021 stint with the Tigers didn’t yield much better results. He fared a bit better with the Padres in 2022, although this year’s .264/.316/.352 batting line in 171 plate appearances wasn’t exactly a standout showing. In nearly 2700 MLB plate appearances, Mazara is a .256/.315/.414 hitter — including just a .235/.295/.324 slash since leaving Texas after the 2019 season.
The Orioles have been seeking left-handed bats who can potentially help them in the outfield corners, at first base or at designated hitter, and Mazara fits that description, even if he’s been a roughly average hitter in the big leagues at his best. He’ll have to earn a spot on the team this spring, and if he’s unable to do so, he could head to Triple-A Norfolk and serve as a depth option in the event of an injury.