The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to sign Xavier Paul to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training, an industry source told Sportsnet.
Paul appeared in 97 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, hitting.244 with a .339 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage. He hit seven home runs as a left fielder and pinch hitter with the Reds before hitting free agency when Cincinnati non-tendered him December 2.
Originally selected in the fourth round of the 2003 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Paul debuted in 2009. In five MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Reds, he’s a .254/.316/.376 hitter with experience at all three outfield positions.
The left-handed hitter will provide the Orioles with some of the outfield depth that they lost when Nate McLouth signed a two-year contract with the Washington Nationals. Paul joins Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and fellow newcomer David Lough in the mix for playing time in Buck Showalter’s outfield.
If the Orioles wish to retain Paul beyond the 2014 season, they’ll be able to do so through the arbitration process.