Orioles Sign Johnny Giavotella (Giuseppe)

The Baltimore Orioles signed ex-Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella to a minor league deal, and if Giavotella makes the cut in Spring Training, he will earn $1.1 million with the chance to earn more through incentives. The contract includes an opt-out clause for March 27 or July 31.

Giavotella has spent parts of 6 seasons in the MLB with the Kansas City Royals, and the Los Angeles Angels. Throughout his career, he has hit .256/.295/.361 with 14 long balls and 125 RBI in 1334 career plate appearances. In the four years he spent with the Royals, he never played more than 60 regular season games. In 2015 he was traded to the Angels and he set new career highs with 123 hits, a .272 batting average, and 49 RBIs with 51 runs scored. In 2015 he had much less playing time with the coming of Cliff Pennington.

Giavotella is looking forward to joining the Orioles and he feels it is a ‘good opportunity’ for him.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Giavotella said. “It’s going to be a new team, a new change of scenery. It’s going to be a good opportunity for me to go in and compete for a utility job, at least.”

Almost all of Giavotella’s playing time came at second base, but he did play a little bit at third base and some left field in the minor leagues. Jonathan Schoop has a pretty firm grip on the Oriole’s second baseman role, and with Manny Machado at third, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, and Chris Davis at first, it will be difficult for Giavotella to get anything besides a utility role in the O’s infield. That will definitely not deter the strong-willed Giavotella.

“As far as they’ve told me, there’s definitely an opening to for a utility spot, to be a bench player, come off the bench and play left field, second base or third base in a pinch…Just being an asset off the bench and help my team win in any way I can.”

Giavotella, who is no stranger to the minor leagues said this about the minor league deal.
“That’s nothing I’m new to. I’ve been sent down (to the minor leagues) many times in the past,” Giavotella said. “It’s not a journey that’s foreign to me. If I get sent down to the minor leagues, I’m gonna work my butt off to get back to the big leagues. That’s the way I’ve always been and I don’t expect to change if that would happen.”
As many of you know, I am a die hard Angels fan who actually has a Johnny Giavotella jersey, am I am both saddened by this news that Giavotella is leaving my team, and I am also glad that he is getting an opportunity to play for a team that will give him more money and hopefully more opportunities. My best wishes are with him and I, along with pretty much every other Angels fan, hope he does well with the Orioles.
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