O's add 1B depth with Choi on Minors deal

O's add 1B depth with Choi on Minors deal

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles signed first baseman Ji-Man Choi to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, one of eight Minors signings the club announced Tuesday.

The news originated from an online report out of South Korea's Ilgan Sports on Saturday. Choi, 24, is the O's first outside-the-organization signing this offseason, and he will make $650,000 should he make the team. There are also several incentives that could push that initial figure up.

In addition to Choi, the O's signed pitchers Pedro Beato, Todd Redmond, Cesar Cabral and Ashur Tolliver, infielders Ozzie Martinez and Steve Tolleson and catcher Audry Perez.

Tolleson, 32, has hit .294/.348/.469 in 115 Major League games against left-handed pitchers.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Choi posted a .302/.404/.481 slash line in five Minor League seasons while part of the Mariners' organization. A former Futures Game selection, Choi was considered by Seattle to be solid first-base depth behind starter Logan Morrison this past spring, but he fractured his fibula in March. He's also spent some time in left field.

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Choi played in 70 games for Triple-A Tacoma in 2014, a season shortened by a 50-game suspension following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.

A switch-hitter who throws right-handed, Choi -- who sat out in 2011 due to a back injury -- has an intriguing bat if he can stay healthy. He first signed with the Mariners in 2009.

While the Orioles try to re-sign Chris Davis and remain interested in bringing back Steve Pearce, the organization is expected to try to add some depth at first base and outfield.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.