Izturis Finalizes $1.5M Contract To Return To O’s

BALTIMORE (AP) — Shortstop Cesar Izturis has finalized a $1.5 million, one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles.

Izturis hit .230 in 150 games with Baltimore last season. In an effort to add punch at the position, the Orioles obtained J.J. Hardy in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Twins, which means Izturis will likely be used as a backup.

Izturis, 30, agreed to terms last month, but the contract was contingent upon him passing a physical. The deal includes $800,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances and $700,000 for starts.

Izturis’ strength is in the field. His .985 fielding percentage in 2010 was second among AL shortstops, and he ranked fifth in the league in assists and putouts.

Izturis has a career batting average of .256. He won a Gold Glove in 2004 and was a NL All-Star in 2005.

He would get $100,000 each for 350, 400, 450 and 500 plate appearances, and $200,000 apiece for 550 and 600. Izturis also would get $50,000 each for 80 and 90 starts, and $100,000 for 100 and each additional 10 through 150.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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