Major League Baseball outfielder and Whitehall High School alum Nate McLouth signed this week with the Baltimore Orioles for a one-year deal worth about $2 million, according to an
McLouth had been a free agent, but Wednesday made the deal to return to the team that gave him a shot when it acquired him from Pittsburgh in the middle of last season. To say it worked out would be an understatement.
McLouth was excellent batting mostly out of the leadoff spot and playing left field for the Orioles after Baltimore acquired him in June. He hit .268 with an on-base percentage of .342. He slugged seven home runs and stole 12 bases in only 236 at-bats while playing good defense in the outfield, helping lead the Orioles to an unlikely American League wild-card berth.
The veteran outfielder was even better in the playoffs, hitting .318 in the American League Division Series against the Yankees, a series that went all five games. McLouth was involved in a controversial play in Game 5 when he hit what appeared to be his second home run of the playoffs, but it was called a foul ball and upheld on replay. Baltimore lost the deciding game, 3-1.
Several reports leading up to the signing indicated that McLouth only wanted a one-year deal, in hopes that he will play well next season and garner a richer contract offer after 2013.
According to the MLB.com report, McLouth was Baltimoreís top choice for a corner outfielder at baseballís winter meetings, taking place this week. It is not clear whether McLouth will be the everyday left fielder or part of a platoon with teammate Nolan Reimold.