Greenberg gets minor league deal from Orioles

Greenberg gets minor league deal from Orioles
December 22, 2012, 2:47 pm
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FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2012, file photo, Adam Greenberg prepares for batting practice before a baseball game against the New York Mets in Miami. Greenberg said on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, that he has agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles and will have a chance to earn a job at their Triple-A farm team in Norfolk, Va. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

(APWF)

Adam Greenberg is getting a chance to resume his baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles.

The 31-year-old returned to the major leagues for one at-bat in October, more than seven years after he was beaned in his debut. He agreed to a minor league contract with the Orioles and will have a chance to earn a job at their Triple-A farm team in Norfolk, Va.

``To get the opportunity with the Orioles means everything to me,'' he said Saturday.

He had contacted Baltimore manager Buck Showalter at the winter meetings this month in Nashville, Tenn.

``I just walked up to him, introduced myself,'' Greenberg said. ``I've always kind of looked at Buck and said that would be the guy that I would love to play, that type of hard-nose mentality.''

Showalter put him in touch with Orioles special assistant Brady Anderson and general manager Dan Duquette.

``I'm going to spring (training) with the opportunity to make the Triple-A squad,'' he said. ``Being 31, they said I'm not going to be going to Double-A and taking away a prospect's spot. It's Triple-A, big leagues - obviously I'm not going to make the big league team out of camp - it's Triple-A, big leagues or nothing, and that's great.''

Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of the 2002 amateur draft, Greenberg made his big league debut as a pinch hitter on July 9, 2005, and was hit on the back of his head with the first pitch from the Marlins' Valerio de los Santos. Greenberg sustained a concussion and was removed for a pinch runner.

Released by the Cubs in June 2006, he had minor league stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals, the speedy outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds and was cut at the end of spring training, hampered by a rotator cuff injury. He spent 2009, `10 and `11 with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League.

After a petition on Change.org urged a big league team to give him another chance, the Marlins signed him and sent him up as a pinch hitter on Oct. 2 against New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Greenberg struck out on three pitches against the eventual NL Cy Young Award winner.

``The last few years have been very, very difficult and challenging, but I got myself physically where I need to be and more important than anything, mentally I'm at a point in my career where I'm able to commit 110 percent back to the game,'' he said.

His agreement was reported by several media outlets on Thursday.

NOTES: Baltimore assigned OF Steve Pearce outright to Norfolk on Friday.