Birds re-sign utilityman Gomez

Birds re-sign utilityman Gomez

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles on Monday announced they had re-signed utilityman Chris Gomez on a one-year deal. Gomez will not have to take a physical for the deal to become official.

The veteran has played his last two seasons in Baltimore, which means the medical staff already has his records on file. Last year, for instance, Gomez missed two months with a broken bone in his left hand.

He came back strong, leading the Major Leagues with a .437 batting average in September. Gomez provides solid defense at all four infield positions, but he's spent most of his time in Baltimore at first base. That's because of his skill against southpaw pitchers, which is in short supply on this team. Last year, Gomez hit .333 against lefties.

Gomez was a third-round pick back in 1992 and came up as a shortstop. He started for a team that went to the World Series -- the 1998 Padres -- but is blocked from playing his natural position with the Orioles. Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada hasn't missed a game since the 2000 season, and he's only DH'ed 14 times in his career.

Gomez has also played for Detroit, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Toronto. His presence with the Orioles may keep fellow utilitymen Brandon Fahey and Freddie Bynum from breaking camp with the parent club. Last year, Fahey made his debut when Gomez was hurt.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.