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PETERSBURG -- In the Orioles' continuing efforts to bolster an outfield missing two starters, Baltimore acquired Steve Pearce from the New York Yankees' organization Saturday afternoon, in exchange for cash considerations.
The 29-year-old first baseman/outfielder was eligible to opt out of his contract and elected to do so, with the cash sent to New York a very small sum that's more of a technicality to cover his contract.
"Our people thought he has the potential to help us, [at] outfield and first base," manager Buck Showalter said of Pearce, who was expected to join the Orioles prior to Saturday's game. "From what I can understand gathering all the information and knowledge, they thought [Pearce] was our best option, and we thought that."
Pearce had been playing for the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team and hit .321 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs, 30 RBIs and a .996 OPS in 52 games. In 185 Major League games over five seasons (2007-11) with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pearce hit .232 with 29 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 52 RBIs.
To make room for Pearce on the active roster -- and 40-man roster -- the Orioles designated Bill Hall for assignment. Hall, who had his contract selected prior to Friday's game, will go on waivers again and the Orioles will find out if he is claimed or passes through on Monday afternoon. In seven games for the Orioles, Hall hit .222 (2-for-9) with one home run, two runs scored and one RBI.
The Orioles are currently without the services of left fielder Nolan Reimold (herniated disk) and right fielder Nick Markakis, who is out at least three to four weeks after undergoing surgery Friday to remove part of the hamate bone from his right wrist.
Showalter said the club's current Triple-A outfielders have all been playing well, but the organization feels Pearce is their best option right now, with Lew Ford still adjusting in the Minors after a stint in independent baseball and rookie Xavier Avery still needing to develop.
"That's always been the case," Showalter said about Avery, who played 15 games for Baltimore before being optioned to Norfolk on Tuesday. "Also, when he was here, we didn't have Endy Chavez. I think that's it, more than anything. Endy's going to get it going and he's going to help us here. I really believe that."