Former Orioles outfielder joins Pirates' mix

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The Pirates added another outfielder to the mix Monday, signing free agent Chris Dickerson to a minor league contract and inviting him to spring training.

Dickerson, 31, spent 2013 with the Baltimore Orioles organization and hit .238 in 109 major league plate appearances with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

He joined more than two-dozen players Monday in Bradenton, Fla., for the start of the team’s voluntary workouts.

The Pirates are a little more than a month away from spring training where several players will make a case to be the team’s right fielder: Travis Snider, Jose Tabata, Andrew Lambo, recently acquired Jaff Decker, and now Dickerson. Top prospect Gregory Polanco is expected to make his major league debut sometime in the 2014 season.

“He has an interesting skill set and is a veteran that will have a chance to make the club in spring training or to help the club as a call-up from Triple-A at some point during the season,” general manager Neal Huntington said of Dickerson.

In 37 games with Class AAA Norfolk in 2013, Dickerson, a left-handed hitter, batted .243 with a .350 on-base percentage.

Dickerson has played more left field than right in his career, but he can play both positions.

He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 and debuted with the Reds. He also has played for the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees and Orioles through five seasons.

Dickerson also laid claim to being the Orioles most “green” member in 2013, riding his bicycle to work on home games, and even told WBAL-AM (1090) in Baltimore he arrived via a skateboard a few times.

“Just making my own personal pledge to cut down on my carbon footprint,” Dickerson told the station. “I started out on a skateboard the first couple of weeks and upgraded to a bike. It’s kind of refreshing being outside, enjoying the air on the way to the ballpark.”

Dickerson’s best season was his rookie year with the Reds in 2008 when he hit .304 with a .413 on-base percentage and six homers in 122 plate appearances.


Jenn Menendez: jmenendez@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.

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