Orioles sign Saunders to minor league deal

 Victoria, B.C. native and ex-Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Victoria, B.C. native and ex-Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

By Kevin Glew

Canadian Baseball Network

Victoria, B.C. native and ex-Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

The Canadian outfielder will report to the O's triple-A affiliate in Norfolk to begin the season.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, if Saunders is eventually promoted to the big league club, he will make $1.5 million, plus $3 million in incentives.

Saunders was released by the Kansas City Royals on March 24. He had a inked a minor league deal with the club on February 23 just two days after signing and then later asking to be released from a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates when the Bucs landed fellow left-handed hitting outfielder Corey Dickerson in a trade.

In 16 Cactus League games with the Royals this spring, Saunders batted .275 and posted a .356 on-base percentage, while knocking in seven runs.

A 2016 American League all-star, Saunders split 2017 between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, where he hit a combined .202 with six home runs in 73 games. It was a difficult season for the Canadian outfielder after he enjoyed his best big league campaign with the Blue Jays in 2016 when he established career-highs in home runs (24) and walks (59). Blue Jays fans might also recall that Saunders socked three home runs in a game at Camden Yards in Baltimore on June 17, 2016.

In total, Saunder has belted 81 home runs in parts of nine big league seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Blue Jays and Phillies.