Saunders joins O's on Minor League pact

April 2nd, 2018

, an All-Star outfielder in 2016, signed a Minor League deal with the Orioles on Monday.

Saunders was released by the Royals last Saturday after not making the big league roster out of Spring Training and rejecting an assignment to Triple-A Omaha. In camp, he hit .275/.356/.350.

Saunders had originally signed a 2018 contract with the Pirates, but Pittsburgh then traded for Corey Dickerson to fill its outfield void, leaving Saunders' status uncertain.

The Orioles are Saunders' fifth team since January of last year. After his All-Star season with the Blue Jays in '16 -- in which he hit .253/.338/.478 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs -- Saunders signed with the Phillies ahead of what was a disappointing season. He hit .205 over 61 games, then was designated for assignment. He returned to Toronto, where he hit .167 over 20 plate appearances before being sent to Triple-A Buffalo.

Should Saunders reach the Majors with Baltimore, he will make $1.5 million, plus $3 million in incentives, according to Heyman, and he would complement an outfield starting trio that includes , and . The club selected the contract of from Triple-A Norfolk on Opening Day, just as it did with Rasmus.