Orioles notes: Dunn, Gillick, Sarfate, Iwakuma
Former Orioles bullpen coach Alan Dunn has agreed to take a newly created minor league pitching coordinator position within the organization.
Dunn, who spent three years with the big league club, will be one of two organizational pitching coordinators, along with Dave Schmidt, who has held the post since 2008. Dunn’s responsibilities will center more on relating the major league pitching philosophies to the organization’s higher-level minor league affiliates with some occasional work at the lower levels.
“I’m definitely looking forward to that position,” Dunn said. “I think it is going to be a good situation for the organization, giving me an opportunity to work with the minor league levels from A ball to Triple-A and tie it in with what we did at the big league level.”
Like the other members of last year’s staff, Dunn, 48, was not rehired as an Orioles coach when his contract expired at the end of October. But the Orioles wanted to keep the highly respected instructor within the organization. However, the Orioles will not stand in his way if he is offered a big league coaching job by another organization this offseason.
“Obviously, I’m very grateful that they thought enough of me to give me this opportunity to stay in the organization. I’m excited about that,” Dunn said. “I think a lot of good things are happening in organization, and I am glad I am a part of that. We’ll go forward from here and look for better things in 2011.”
Dunn is the second member of last year’s Orioles coaching staff to accept a minor league job in the organization. Longtime hitting coach Terry Crowley will be a hitting evaluator throughout the system. Also, third base coach Gary Allenson has been offered the Triple-A manager’s job he held in the first half of 2010. Allenson has not yet accepted it, waiting to see what happens with the Orioles’ third base coaching position.
Juan Samuel has been in negotiations with the Orioles for the post, but no agreement has been reached and, if that ends in an impasse, Allenson could remain in the majors.
Gillick with a Hall of Fame shot
Former Orioles general manager Pat Gillick has a chance to make the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July.
Gillick is one of 12 candidates on the Hall’s Expansion Era (1973 to present) Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players.
The candidates must receive at least 12 votes from a 16-person committee made up of former players, executives and writers.
Besides Gillick, the other 11 candidates are: players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; manager Billy Martin; team owner George Steinbrenner; and players association executive Marvin Miller.
Gillick won World Series championships with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies and led the Orioles to the American League Championship Series in 1996 and 1997. He left in 1998, and the Orioles are still searching for their next .500 or better season.
The voting panel has a significant Orioles flavor. Among those on the committee are former Orioles greats Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Frank Robinson, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and current ESPN analyst and former Baltimore Sun writer Tim Kurkjian.
The result of the vote will be announced Dec. 6 during the baseball’s winter meetings in Florida.
Minor league free agents
When the Orioles placed pitcher Jim Hoey on the 40-man roster Saturday, they also allowed a number of players to become minor league free agents. The most notable include former Orioles Dennis Sarfate and Scott Moore as well as former major leaguers Joel Guzman, Chris George and Mike Hinckley.
The players are free to sign elsewhere or could return to the Orioles on minor league deals.
Orioles did not bid for Iwakuma
Major League Baseball announced Monday that the Oakland Athletics had submitted the winning posting bid for Rakuten Golden Eagles pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and will have 30 days to negotiate exclusively with the 29-year-old right hander.
The Orioles were not among the teams to offer a bid for Iwakuma, who had a 2.82 ERA in Japan this season.
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