Avery signed a minor league contract with the Braves, Baseball America reports. While the Braves have not made a formal announcement, Avery has apparently joined the organization after spending 2016 with the Orioles. Avery appeared in 101 games at Triple-A Norfolk last season, slashing .248/.332/.363 with 19 RBI and six home runs. The 27-year-old saw time in 32 major league games for Baltimore in 2012 but hasn't progressed past Triple-A in any of the last four seasons.
Avery was reassigned to minor-league camp Sunday, Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. The Orioles preferred to keep Avery around as a reserve outfielder on the heels of a strong spring training, but with Korean import Hyun-soo Kim unwilling to accept a minor-league assignment, Kim ultimately made the 25-man roster. It's expected that the Orioles will now look to find a trade partner for the disgruntled Kim, but until that happens or another injury hits the outfield, Avery will have to bide his time at Triple-A Norfolk.
Avery is in roster limbo as he awaits the status of Hyun-soo Kim, MASN Sports reports. Avery went 10-for-32 with four home runs, a triple, two doubles and two steals this spring. He also walked 10 times, but had 13 strikeouts. Hyun-soo Kim has refused Baltimore's request to begin the season at Triple-A. The club could keep him on the roster over Avery, or he could return to the Korean League, though it could be difficult for a Korean team to match Baltimore's $7 million commitment. Avery would be a utility player for the Orioles, or he could split outfield playing time in Triple-A. His status will be determined over the weekend.
Manager Buck Showalter said Saturday that it will be "a while" before Avery (hip) returns to the field, MASN's Roch Kubatko reports. Avery is dealing with a hip flexor injury that will keep him off the field for at least a few days, prompting the Orioles to bring Julio Borbon over from minor league camp to fill in for the time being. As a long shot to make the Opening Day roster coming into camp, Avery's injury does not bode well for his chances to escape the minors when camp breaks.
Avery will attend Orioles' spring training as a non-roster invitee, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports. The 26-year-old left fielder hit .318 at Triple-A Salt Lake last year in the Angels' farm-system. However, that production has yet to translate to the big-league level as his batting average is a meager .181 in 170 MLB plate appearances. Given his poor production so far in the majors, he will likely have a hard time finding playing time with the Orioles even if he attains a roster spot.