No offers for Pena or Konerko; trade talks ongoing for shortstop
Just a few quick tidbits after our meeting with Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail:
MacPhail said that the club did not make an offer to free agent first basemen Carlos Pena and Paul Konerko despite reports that suggested otherwise. Konerko re-signed today with the Chicago White Sox, while Pena inked a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The Orioles spend a big part of the day trying to find their 2011 shortstop. MacPhail acknowledged that he talked to the Minnesota Twins about J.J. Hardy, the Tampa Bay Rays about Jason Bartlett and the St. Louis Cardinals about Brendan Ryan. They also met with the agents of Cesar Izturis. MacPhail said that it is likely their 2011 shortstop comes from that group.
As for the first base vacancy, MacPhail said there are a lot of options remaining, which is slightly surprising because Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche are the only two names that jump out at me. Perhaps, you can throw Lyle Overbay into that mix.
He also said that the club has expressed interest in several DH types, which could lead to Luke Scott moving to first base. A couple of those targets are believed to be Vladimir Guerrero, Hideki Matsui and Jim Thome. They did not, however, have a representative at Magglio Ordonez's workout, so you can probably cross him off your wish list.
The Orioles have the fourth overall pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft, and MacPhail said that the club has discussed several names at that spot. However, a couple of teams have also contacted the Orioles about trade options with that pick. At least one person I discussed floated the theory that the Orioles could draft a player for the Twins and include him, along with minor league reliever Brett Jacobson, for Hardy.
MacPhail said there were no changes in the negotiations for free agent relief targets, including Koji Uehara and Kevin Gregg.
As for Luke Scott's comments, MacPhail basically said that the club's statement earlier today speaks for itself. He also said that he doesn't foresee Scott getting fined, which is what happened to Aubrey Huff a couple of years back when he made his infamous comments about the city's nightlife.
Go to mobile.baltimoresun.com to get news on your mobile device. Text BASEBALL to 70701 for Orioles text alerts.