Orioles Fill Shortstop Hole

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tuesday Dec. 16, 2008
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles finally filled their hole at shortstop, signing free agent Cesar Izturis to a two-year contract Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Izturis batted .263 in 135 games with the St. Louis Cardinals this year. He ranked third in the NL with a .980 fielding percentage. Izturis fills the void at shortstop left by the trade in 2007 that sent Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros. The Orioles employed six players at the position last year, including Freddie Bynum, Juan Castro and Alex Cintron.

A switch-hitter, Izturis batted .290 right-handed and .245 left-handed in 2008. He has a .260 career batting average over 903 games. He also led the Cardinals with 24 stolen bases in 2008. Izturis has played for Toronto, Los Angeles, the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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