NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Orioles achieved one of their principal goals of the Winter Meetings when they re-signed Nate McLouth on Wednesday. McLouth agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with $500,000 in bonuses if he has 550 plate appearances.
“Nate did a great job for us last year when we brought him up. He helped solidify the team defensively, and hit with some power. He got on base and was an excellent basestealer,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
“He did a terrific job when Nick Markakis went down, moving into the leadoff slot. He was one of our major players in the playoff run.”
McLouth’s signing should be a popular one with the team’s followers, Duquette said.
“Our fans connected with him and he really liked the ‘football atmosphere,’ he termed it at the ballpark.”
Manager Buck Showalter lobbied McLouth to re-sign with the team.
“It was clear that Nate enjoyed playing for Buck,” Duquette said.
“We have some outfield depth and variety,” Duquette said.
There’s only one hole remaining, and that’s an additional bat in the middle of the lineup. Duquette seemed to close the door on the team signing free agent Nick Swisher.
“I think we have enough outfielders on our ballclub. We can take a look at the guys we got in the spring,” Duquette said.
“I don’t think we need to worry about that for Baltimore fans.”
Duquette said the team had a handful of discussions with trade partners.
“I don’t know about these trades. Sometimes they come together, sometimes they take a while to percolate after the meetings,” Duquette said. “We still have our eyes on a couple of other things.”
-The Orioles signed first baseman/outfielder Conor Jackson and right-handed pitcher Adam Russell to minor league deals. Jackson has played seven seasons with Arizona, Oakland and Boston, but spent last season in the Chicago White Sox organization. Russell, who pitched in 85 games from 2009-11 with the White Sox, Padres and Rays, is 6-foot-8 and 255 lbs.
Jackson and Russell were among eight signings officially announced Wednesday. The other six previously reported signings were outfielders Lew Ford and Jason Pridie, catchers Jose Gil, Allan De San Miguel and Chris Robinson as well as right-handed pitcher Daniel McCutchen.
-The team also signed an 18-year-old left-handed pitcher Jan Novak from the Czech Republic.