The Orioles added to their pitching depth on Wednesday, agreeing to a Minor League contract with veteran Alfredo Aceves, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network. The deal, which the club has not confirmed, reportedly includes an invitation to big league Spring Training.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Aceves can earn a guaranteed $1.2 million if he makes Baltimore's roster, with incentives possibly raising that salary as high as $3 million. Although the deal is not yet official, Orioles manager Buck Showalter addressed it on Thursday morning while appearing on MLB Network's Hot Stove Live.
"He's obviously got a good arm," Showalter said of Aceves. "If you look at his win-loss record in the big leagues and his hits-to-innings-pitched, we know the pitching part of it's there."
Aceves is 30-14 while pitching mostly as a reliever over six Major League seasons with the Yankees and Red Sox, producing a 3.69 ERA and giving up fewer than eight hits per nine innings. He posted a 2.93 ERA in 114 games, including nine starts, over his first four seasons but has struggled since then.
The 31-year-old is coming off a rough season with Boston in which he went 4-1 but posted a 4.86 ERA over 11 games, including six starts. Aceves didn't appear in the Majors after July 9, getting sent to Triple-A Pawtucket, outrighted off the 40-man roster and then suffering an oblique strain. Aceves pitched in 69 games out of the bullpen for the Red Sox in 2012, but he went 2-10 with a 5.36 ERA, striking out 75 and walking 31 over 84 innings.
The Mexico native also clashed with teammates and management at times during his tenure with the Red Sox. The club suspended Aceves for three games during the 2012 season for going on a tirade after then-manager Bobby Valentine demoted him from the closer position. Soon after returning, he and second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a heated exchange in the dugout -- apparently over some miscommunication on a pickoff play -- and had to be separated. Aceves also was ejected from a World Baseball Classic contest between Mexico and Canada last year after playing a prominent role in an incident between the two teams.
"A lot of guys … at 28-32 start figuring out there's a better way to handle it," said Showalter, who planned to call Aceves after the interview. "But I also go into all things with open eyes, knowing there's been some really good baseball people, as good if not better, that have had the same challenges. Let's face it, the reason why he's getting an opportunity is because he's got a quality arm and has had success in the American League East before."