SARASOTA, Fla. -- For Pedro Alvarez, it'll be like he gets a full Spring Training. The Orioles officially announced a one-year Minor League deal with the first baseman on Monday, bringing back Alvarez as a late signing for the third consecutive year."There's a familiarity, there's the first couple of awkward
SARASOTA, Fla. -- For Pedro Alvarez, it'll be like he gets a full Spring Training. The Orioles officially announced a one-year Minor League deal with the first baseman on Monday, bringing back Alvarez as a late signing for the third consecutive year.
"There's a familiarity, there's the first couple of awkward days [in a new camp] where you're trying to get to know everybody, walking on eggshells. That's eliminated," said Alvarez, whose deal included an invitation to Major League camp. "In my case, compared to the last two years, last year, I think I was here for 10 days, the year before, I was in camp for maybe 15 days. This feels almost like a full camp. I'm excited to be here, to get to spend this time here, to get this opportunity to be here again."
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Alvarez, 31, took reps at first base on Monday, and he adds some more depth to the Orioles as a left-handed hitter. He spent the majority of 2017 at Triple-A Norfolk, but played in 14 games for the Orioles and posted a .313/.353/.438 slash line in 32 at-bats. Alvarez was a key factor for the club in 2016, playing in 109 games and hitting 22 homers with 49 RBIs.
"I think that if you don't take the opportunity to take something from every experience, I think you're doing yourself a disservice. I felt like I learned a lot [last year]," Alvarez said.
"Obviously, everyone wants to play at the highest level, which is here. Again, I try to focus on the things that I can control at the end of the day. All I can do is come to the ballpark every day, ready to play -- be ready when the opportunity comes. The rest is up to other people to decide on."
The organization took notice, with manager Buck Showalter commenting Monday that Alvarez had a certain calmness about him when he came up last year.
"He's a great depth piece for us. I think he really learned some things about himself as a hitter last year, especially the second half of the season. It was fun to watch," Showalter said. "When he came up to us, he was really good, I thought. So it's always comforting to have someone like him as a depth piece."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.