The Baltimore Orioles haven't done much this offseason when it comes to adding players to their team. In fact, they haven't brought in any new faces who figure to be starters and make a major contribution to the team's success.
However, the team has added more depth, a necessary component for any winning team.
And with that depth comes the most underrated signing by the Baltimore Orioles thus far this offseason in first baseman/ corner outfielder Conor Jackson.
Jackson was signed on a minor league deal in the event of either injuries or ineffectiveness from the starters. Of all the players who have major league experience to stash in the minors for that sort of thing, Jackson is a very good option.
A former first-round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jackson never really panned out after his first two full seasons in the bigs. (2006: 15 HR, 79 RBI, 2007: 15 HR, 60 RBI).
Since then he hasn't been nearly as effective, being more of a role player and bench bat than an everyday outfielder.
Still, Jackson can prove to be a solid piece to any club, especially the Orioles. No, he won't set any records or win any awards, but every team needs quality depth, and that is precisely what Jackson provides.
With Jackson, the O's get a solid right-handed bat who can come off the bench and play four different positions (outfield corners, first base, and DH). O's manager Buck Showalter loves to have defensive flexibility and someone who can get on base. With his career .271 batting average and .351. OBP, Jackson certainly fits into that mold.
I expect Jackson to come up to the majors at some point towards the middle of the year for the team and provide a reliable depth piece, much like Lew Ford or Nate McLouth in 2012.