The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Chris Dickerson to a minor league contract, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.
Dickerson, who turns 32 at the beginning of the season, spent the 2013 season in the Orioles' organization, splitting time between the majors and Triple-A Norfolk. In 56 major league games, he hit .238 with 4 HR and 13 RBI, but showed a slight improvement in the minors (.243 average, 2 HR, 8 RBI in 37 games).
Dickerson will likely compete with Travis Snider and the newly-acquired Jaff Decker for spots as backup outfielders for the Pirates behind Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Starling Marte. Biertempfel notes that he also drew interest from the Yankees and Indians, but ultimately decided to sign with Pittsburgh. Dickerson is already in Bradenton, Fla. for voluntary team workouts.
In parts of six major league seasons with the Reds (2008-2010), Brewers (2010), Yankees (2011-2012) and Orioles (2013), Dickerson is a lifetime .262 hitter with 15 HR and 60 RBI in 314 games. He can play all three outfield positions, but is thought to be best suited in right field.
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