Dec 16, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT
Chris Marrero, released by the Nationals earlier this fall, has found a new home just up the road: Baltimore.
The Orioles have signed the 25-year-old first baseman to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to Baseball America.
Marrero, the Nationals’ highly touted first-round pick in the 2006 draft, was outrighted off the club’s 40-man roster on October 24 after a disappointing eight seasons with the organization during which time he hit just .232 in 39 big-league games. He continued to be a productive offensive player at Class AAA, hitting a collective .281 with a .353 on-base percentage over parts of three seasons at Syracuse, though his power numbers (25 homers) remained a disappointment.
Whether Marrero can finally realize his potential in Baltimore remains to be seen. The Orioles obviously are set at first base with Chris Davis, who mashed a club-record 53 homers this year, but their designated hitters were woefully unproductive, hitting a collective .234 with a .289 on-base percentage.
Marrero will need to prove he can hit big-league pitching for average, but he’ll also need to prove he can hit for power the way he was expected when the Nationals touted him as the organization’s top prospect.
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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