O's add pair in preparation for season
Cabrera, Hammock agree to terms on Minor League deals
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles made a couple more moves on Monday in preparation for the upcoming season. The Baltimore Sun reported that Jolbert Cabrera and Robby Hammock have agreed to terms with the Orioles on Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training, giving the team two more veteran options to fight for a reserve job.
Cabrera, 36 years old, can play every infield position and also can be spotted in the outfield corners. He has batted .257 with a .306 on-base percentage in parts of eight seasons, including last year with the Reds. The right-handed hitter played five positions for Cincinnati in 2008 and batted .252 with 12 RBIs in 115 at-bats.
Cabrera's main competition for a bench job likely will come from fellow veteran Chris Gomez and newly acquired infielder Donnie Murphy. Playing time associated with this bench spot also may be affected by Ryan Freel, who can play left field, third and second base.
Hammock, who has spent his entire career with Arizona, hasn't had more than 45 at-bats in the big leagues in each of the last four seasons, but he was on the receiving end of a perfect game by Randy Johnson in 2004. The 31-year-old Hammock has spent most of his time at catcher, but he also has played third base and the outfield.
For his career, Hammock is a .253 hitter with a .313 on-base percentage. Guillermo Quiroz, who served as last year's backup, and Chad Moeller may pose Hammock's initial competition.
The Orioles appear likely to sign Gregg Zaun to serve as their starting catcher for the initial part of the season. Zaun, if signed, would then go on to tutor prospect Matt Wieters, who is expected to make his big league debut before the All-Star break. For the first month or two, though, the Orioles plan on going with a veteran backstop.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.