Orioles sign outfielder Tyler Colvin

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles have signed free agent outfielder Tyler Colvin. It is believed to be a Major League deal.

Colvin, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Rockies. He hit well in 2012, finishing with an .858 OPS in 452 plate appearances, but suffered a collapsed lung near the end of the season. He started 2013 with Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting a .914 OPS before earning a call back up to the big leagues. He struggled, however, posting a .472 OPS between June 8 and July 9. The Rockies sent him back down to Triple-A but the struggles continued and he eventually went on the shelf due to a disc injury in his back. The Rockies outrighted him in September, and he elected free agency in October.

If he can stay healthy, he can be a useful left-handed hitter for the Orioles. He displayed a good amount of power in 2010 with the Cubs and 2012 with the Rockies, hitting 20 and 18 home runs, respectively. Colvin will be in for a tough competition, however. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun counts 12 outfielders that will be in camp with the Orioles for spring training. They include Delmon Young, Francisco Peguero, Xavier Paul, David Lough, and Quintin Berry.

Orioles designate Pedro Alvarez for assignment

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The Baltimore Orioles are terrible and going nowhere fast, so they decided to do some shuffling of the decks today.

One part of that was to called up catcher Caleb Joseph, which was the corresponding move to sending down Chance Sisco the other day. Joseph will now be big league teammates with brother Corban. Aww.

Another thing they did was to purchase the contract of Steve Wilkerson from Triple-A Norfolk. He’s a utility guy who has been swinging a hot bat after getting a late start to the season due to a 50-game drug suspension. Good for him, but that’s bad news for Pedro Alvarez, who was designated for assignment in the corresponding move.

Alvarez, 31, started the season well but has been atrocious for most of it. His line on the year is .180/.283/.414 with eight homers, but he’s been far worse than that for over a month. The 2013 NL home run champ will now go through waivers and, at the end of that process, likely have to choose between free agency or a trip to Norfolk. And, given that it’s the worst team in baseball sending him packing, there’s a good chance that it could be the end of the big league road for him.