The Orioles announced that they have signed Ronald Guzmán to a minor league deal. The lefty is represented by JP Sports Advisors.
Guzmán, 29, has 246 games of major league experience. He spent 2018 to 2021 with the Rangers and also had a brief showing with the Yankees in 2022, working primarily as a first baseman for those years. He hit .225/.302/.410 in his 823 plate appearances, launching 31 home runs but also striking out at a 29.2% clip.
Just over a year ago, he signed a minor league deal with the Giants for the 2023 season. It was reported in early February that he would be attempting to become a two-way player. He was apparently hitting 96 miles per hour on the radar gun around that time, as well as throwing a slider and changeup.
Unfortunately, the experiment hit a snag pretty quickly, as he left a Spring Training game with an injury. He was later diagnosed with pronator strain in his left forearm, telling Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle at that time that he expected to be out of action for about six to eight weeks. He didn’t return to official game action until August, making three rehab appearances before being released.
It appears he is healthy now, as he has recently been playing for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League. He has played some first base, left field and made two appearances on the mound. The fact that the O’s listed him as a left-handed pitcher in their announcement suggests that they may be more interested in him for that role, though perhaps they will let Guzmán do both.
He still has effectively no experience as a pitcher to speak of, so it’s tough to know what to expect from him going forward, especially after last year being essentially wiped out by injury. But for the O’s, there’s no risk in bringing him aboard on a minor league deal to see if he can thrive in his new role with a bit of health.