Escobar signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox on Friday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports. Escobar was released by the Orioles on Wednesday and was apparently unable to find any major-league opportunities elsewhere. The 32-year-old should head to Triple-A Charlotte and will serve as a depth option at shortstop for the White Sox.
Escobar was released by the Orioles on Wednesday, Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports. The Orioles elected to go with youth and upside over veteran leadership, with the 32-year-old Escobar jettisoned in favor of Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. Escobar's viability as a major leaguer is questionable at this point in his career, as the advanced metrics haven't liked his defense for the last few years and he hasn't posted a wRC+ above 69 since 2014.
Escobar has an opt-out in his contract which triggers Wednesday, meaning the Orioles' decision on whether or not to add him to the major-league roster is imminent, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports. The Orioles must decide if they want a veteran taking up a spot on the roster or if they'd be better served giving playing time to young players given where they currently sit in the competitive cycle. Escobar is hitting just .219 with a .597 OPS this spring, though Baltimore was likely never expecting much more than veteran leadership from him at this point in his career. Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson represent the Orioles' primary alternatives at shortstop.
Escobar went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in Thursday's exhibition against Philadelphia. Escobar plated a run in the second inning on a fielder's choice and laced an RBI single into left field to score Jonathan Villar in the third. He's off to a strong start with Baltimore and will aim to keep it rolling as he attempts to earn a utility role with the big-league club.
Escobar signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training Saturday, Dan Connolly of The Athletic reports. The veteran averaged 155 games per season in eight seasons with the Royals and was a key part of Kansas City's back-to-back pennant runs in 2014 and 2015, though he's never done much at the plate. Over 11 big-league seasons, he's hitting .258/.293/.343 with just 41 homers. He'll join one of the easiest rosters to break into in the league, though the Orioles may prefer to give at-bats to younger players.