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November 16, 2010

Moore signs minor league deal with Cubs

Former Orioles infielder Scott Moore will return to one of his former organizations as he has agreed to a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. Moore, who turns 27 tomorrow, made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2006 before they traded him to Baltimore a year later in the Steve Trachsel deal.

Moore hit .280 with 11 homers and 45 RBIs in 61 games for Triple-A Norfolk this past season but again struggled to stay healthy. He also got 86 at-bats for the Orioles, hitting .209 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

I’ve always liked Moore’s swing and his versatility, but it seemed like every time he was about to get an opportunity, he was derailed by injuries.

I wrote yesterday how the Orioles have agreed to a minor league deal with pitcher Mitch Atkins, but overall, I don’t expect the club to make too many of these types of signings this offseason. Because they will be dealing with two fewer affiliates (they cut one of their Dominican teams as well as Rookie-level Bluefield), the Orioles simply won’t need as many players.

They do, however, need a couple of veteran starters/swing men to slot in the upper levels of the minor leagues for insurance purposes.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 8:10 PM | | Comments (4)


Too bad. I'm with you, I liked Scott more than most. Couldn't agree more about Moore...seemed to always have bad luck when he could have been proving himself. I guess he's kinda like Lou Monetenz. Small ample sizes dotted with injuries.

On the bright side, I think Moore will have a better opportunity with the Cubs. Good luck to him.

As a Cubs fan, I liked Moore enough when we got him (from the Tigers in the Farnsworth trade), but wasn't disappointed when we lost him. He'll be a nice addition to the system, but he's probably slated for AAA, with a chance to compete in the spring with a NRI. There's an outside chance he wins a job, particularly if the Cubs decide to save money and cut ties with Jeff Baker. If not, and he doesn't win a job and Moore is sent down to AAA, he'll be in a tough battle for PT. Matt Spencer is likely slated for first, and Marquez Smith slated for 3rd, along with Tony Thomas at 2nd and Brandon Guyer in RF. He'll have to fight for PT.

I like him, and am glad the Cubs picked him up again to fill out their AAA depth chart, but am a bit surprised that he somehow thought that the Cubs offered a better opportunity than the Orioles.

You state that the Orioles are unlikely to sign many minor league free agents but... the teams eliminated from the farm system were low level teams peopled by players who weren't ready for a higher level. Minor league free agents are signed to be possible major league replacement parts (Scott Moore for example) so how would the elimination of lower level teams affect signing minor league free agents? The Orioles can only maintain control of 40 players plus those who don't yet qualify for the Rule 5 draft. Anyone signed to a minor league contract could be taken in that draft (or the minor league phase of the the draft -- is that not correct?). I noticed the Orioles released Joel Guzman who hit 32 HR, 98 RBI in Bowie. Why wouldn't they keep him, at least for Norfolk?

Jeff Z's reply: Well, it's still all related. Maybe a guy who was supposed to start season at High-A Frederick, gets pushed to Double-A because Frederick (or Delmarva for that matter) has to accomodate some players that were ticketed for one of the lower-level teams. And that pushes a guy who was in line for Double-A to Triple-A. But no, they're still going to make some minor league signings Don, but most will be geared, at least initially, to openings with the big league team. They're not going to be necessarily aimed at filling spots in the minors. For example, I think they'll probably try to get a veteran catcher that way to compete with Tatum and/or Fox for the backup job. If he doesn't win the job, he goes back down to Triple-A obviously.

Off the main topic, but about the O's nonetheless. Jeff, do you know if the O's tried to trade for Uggla to man 3B?

The Marlins got a utility infielder and an erratic reliever for him. I think we could have packaged Pie (Marlins just traded their CF too) and one of our non-premier young arms to get him.

Marlins wanted a middle infielder in return. That was a priority. The Orioles didn't have that. And they, apparently, don't believe Infante is a utility infielder.

Jeff Z's reply: Don't know for sure as team officials don't usually comment on that stuff, but know there was some interest. Don't know, however, how serious the talks were. But it does seem obvious that the Marlins were looking for an infielder back to replace Uggla, and the O's don't have a similar piece than Infante.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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