On Wednesday afternoon it was announced that the Orioles had reached a deal with infielder Johnny Giavotella.
Giavotella, a second round pick in 2008, has played second base for almost all of his career and has a decent amount of major league experience as well. For the past two seasons, Giavotella was the opening day second baseman for the Angels. He ended up hitting .266 /.302 /.375 in 288 games with LA in that two-year span.
While Giavotella is coming off of two seasons at the major league level, the second base position is far from vacant in Baltimore. Between Jonathan Schoop and utility player Ryan Flaherty, there is not a clear role present for Giavotella at the major league level. However, his numbers show that he can be a solid insurance player for the Orioles’ infield.
Giavotella’s main role will likely be in AAA Norfolk where there is more of a need for infield players. Manager Buck Showalter expressed interest in adding infield depth to the minor leagues this offseason. This signing appears to be an attempt to satisfy that need with Giavotella being a career .305/.377/.438 hitter in eight minor league seasons.
Giavotella’s contract dictates that he be paid $1.1 million if he does reach the major leagues this season. The contract also includes incentives and opt-outs on March 27 and July 31.