SARASOTA, Fla. — Pedro Alvarez was intrigued by the power already in the Baltimore Orioles’ batting order.
“Who wouldn’t want to come and potentially be in a lineup with the guys that are here already?” Alvarez said Thursday after Baltimore finalized his $5.75 million, one-year contract. “This is a very potent lineup already. Any time you can have a lineup like that, it’s a big headache for the other team. Everyone’s a threat.”
A 29-year-old power hitter, Alvarez has 131 homers in six major league seasons, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was an All-Star in 2013. He hit .243 with 27 homers, 77 RBIs and 131 strikeouts last year.
Alvarez, who became a free agent in December when Pittsburgh failed to offer a contract, is likely to get most of his action as the Orioles’ designated hitter.
“My job is to help this team in whatever capacity they need me at, so whether that’s DH or that’s in the field, I’m confident I can bring a lot of help to this team and that’s the reason why I’m here. Whatever is needed of me, that’s what I’ll do,” Alvarez said.
Pittsburgh shifted Alvarez from third base to first late in the 2014 season because of his poor defense, and Alvarez remained at first last year. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Alvarez won’t be limited to a DH role.
“Some people don’t realize this is an athletic guy who’s got potential to give us a lot of options around the field. He’s just not going to be a pure DH,” Showalter said. “He’s shown the ability to damage against left-handed pitching, too.”
Alvarez could earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances in the deal announced Thursday: $200,000 each for 350, 400, 450, 500 and 550, and $250,000 for 600.
To make room for Alvarez on the 40-man roster, Baltimore released right-hander Andrew Triggs.
Orioles stay winless in preseason: Adam Jones hit an opposite-field home run to right-center for the Orioles, whose winless streak in spring training reached 11 with a 4-4 tie against a New York Yankees’ split squad on Thursday.
Baltimore fell to 0-9-2 and is the only big league team without a spring training win this year.
Starlin Castro had three hits and three RBIs for the Yankees: an RBI double that scored Jacoby Ellsbury and a two-run single.
Bryan Mitchell allowed four hits, including Jones’ home run, in three innings.
The Orioles’ Tyler Wilson allowed two runs and five hits in three innings. Wilson has given up four runs in six innings over three starts.
South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim reached base for the first two times. He was hit by a pitch in the fourth and reached on an infield single in the seventh that scored the first of three runs that tied the score at 4. Kim is now 1 for 24.
Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, who threw two scoreless innings in a “B’’ game against Pittsburgh on Thursday morning, said that the strained right hip flexor that caused him to miss his first start, said that he feels he’ll be able to open the season on time.
“In the back of my head I’m thinking I have to catch up, but I don’t think there’s much catching up to do,” Tillman said.