It looks like shortstop problem for the Baltimore Orioles has been solved as Cesar Izturis officially became a member of the squad this morning. He was in the city for a physical along with a medical examination on Monday — which he passed — and spoke to the media an hour or two ago.
From the Baltimore Sun: An agreement on a two-year, $6 million deal was reached with Izturis last week at the winter meetings, but was pending a physical. He gives the Orioles some stability at a position filled by six players last season.
Izturis, 28, played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and had a .980 fielding percentage, third-best in the National League. He won the 2004 Gold Glove at shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers and represented the Dodgers in the All-Star Game in 2005.
A switch hitter from Venezuela, Izturis hit .290 right-handed and .245 left-handed, and led the Cardinals with 24 stolen bases in 2008. He has a .260 career batting average.
I’d rather have had the team go after a more offensive shortstop, but considering the options we had out on the field in 2008, it’s nice to finally have a major league caliber shortstop who can play defense and actually hit in the nine hole.
Well, it looks like Daniel Cabrera may find employment, sooner rather than later. A report in the Baltimore Sun noted that the tall hurler despite his release from the Orioles has quite a number of suitors looking to pick him up as a reclamation project.
Despite Cabrera’s up and down tenure in Baltimore, he said he no hard feelings.
There was a little sadness but no bitterness, Cabrera said yesterday by phone from the Dominican Republic.
“I don’t know how I am going to feel; I’ll have to wait for the season,” said Cabrera, whom the Orioles did not offer a contract at Friday’s midnight deadline. “I don’t know how to feel, but I have nothing bad to say about Baltimore.”
He definitely showed some flashes of brilliance; however, considering how long he was in Baltimore and just the overall lack of improvements he made over the years, one can understand why the organization would cut ties with him.
However, if someone can just hammer the art of pitching into Cabrera’s head, and develop a third pitch for him, he could be a solid starter or even an arm in someone’s bullpen.