While the Orioles continue their search for another outfielder and still intend to upgrade their pitching depth, they’ve addressed the need for infield depth by signing Johnny Giavotella and Robert Andino to minor league deals. Both players figure to begin the 2017 season at Triple-A Norfolk unless an injury creates a spot on the 25-man roster, but competition always is a good thing. “They bring ability and experience. They give us some more depth at the infield position, particularly in the middle of the infield,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “Giavotella is a real gritty player. He’s played effectively at second base. He brings a lot of energy to the team and he’s a clutch hitter. He gets a hit when you need a hit. He’s a tough out. And Andino we know. He’s been with us before. He can play a number of infield positions, including shortstop. He had a pretty good year and he brings some value in the major leagues with the bat.” Andino made it clear to the Orioles that he wanted to return. They traded him to the Mariners in November 2012 after signing infielder Alexi Casilla, the alternative being to non-tender him. Andino was the opening day second baseman. He’s fine with lowering his sights in 2017. “We’ve been looking for a veteran shortstop and I’m not sure Paul Janish is going to come back to the O’s,” Duquette said, “so we had been talking to Janish and some others and then Andino reached out to us through Adam Jones. And he let Buck (Showalter) know that he was looking for a job and wanted to come back. So we followed up with his agent.
More on Andino signing, arbitration negotiations, remaining business
Masn | Feb 7