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Valencia officially signs Minors deal with O's

Competing for reserve role, vet has no intention of playing at Triple-A
Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles announced on Saturday that infielder Danny Valencia signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

The 33-year-old Valencia will earn $1.2 million if he makes the Orioles, and can earn up to $3 million in incentives.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles announced on Saturday that infielder Danny Valencia signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

The 33-year-old Valencia will earn $1.2 million if he makes the Orioles, and can earn up to $3 million in incentives.

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Valencia, who is a .269 hitter in eight seasons with the Twins, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Athletics and Mariners, will compete for a reserve infielder role.

"We've been having talks with them for about a month," Valencia said before the O's 4-2 win over the Phillies. "It's been a tough offseason for plenty of free agents this year, as we all know. But ultimately it came down to the fact that I had some similar offers, but I felt coming here and knowing some of the guys, having the relationships I do with some of the people do -- I have great relationships with them -- it felt like to me it was the right move.

"I feel like there's probably more playing time here than maybe in other situations."

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If Valencia doesn't make the Orioles, he said he has no intention of playing in the Minors. His last significant Minor League assignment was in 2013, when he played 85 games for the Orioles' Triple-A Norfolk team.

"I have nothing to prove down there," Valencia said. "I've been a productive big leaguer. ... Obviously, you want to be in the big leagues and I think it'll all work out."

The Orioles pursued Valencia, who can play first and third as well as the corner outfield positions, before they knew of Chris Davis' elbow injury. Davis will have an MRI on his elbow. On Monday, the Orioles added another veteran free agent who had also played with the team, Pedro Alvarez, for injury insurance.

"He certainly brings some things that we look for," manager Buck Showalter said of Valencia. "We have a prior history. We'll put him in the mix to see if it fits. A lot of it is coverage for an injury like with Pedro here. It may not fit mathematically now, but things could change."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Danny Valencia