MacPhail still trying to add pitching
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was predictably coy yesterday when asked about the team’s plans for the final four weeks of the offseason.
While he said he didn’t believe anything was imminent, he acknowledged that he’s having enough discussions with teams about trades and with representatives of free agents to believe that the Orioles could still make a couple of more moves before pitchers and catchers report to the team’s new-look spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 14.
Of course, MacPhail declined to identify any of the team’s remaining targets -- and I’ve heard from other avenues not to expect anything too significant (hopefully that will prevent any Vladimir Guerrero questions) -- but he did say he’s working hard to add another left-handed reliever.
“We have different discussions going on to try to get us a little more left-handed in the bullpen,” said MacPhail, who acknowledged that the club has several offers on the table for pitching help. “We’ll just have to see how those discussions unfold.”
There are still several situational lefties available on the free-agent market, including Joe Beimel, Randy Flores, Ron Mahay, Dennys Reyes, Scott Schoeneweis and Bobby Seay. Former Orioles southpaw relievers Tim Byrdak, Bruce Chen and Mark Hendrickson are also still out there. I did not include Brian Fuentes because his asking price -- both in terms of years and price -- is out of the Orioles’ range at this point.
As for starters, I still feel the Orioles will add at least one more, if not two. One could be a veteran type who would sign a minor league deal and perhaps even start at Triple-A. The free-agent starters available include Jeremy Bonderman, Doug Davis, Justin Duchscherer, Freddy Garcia, Rodrigo Lopez, John Maine, Kevin Millwood, Brian Moehler and Nate Robertson. Yes, it’s not an impressive list, and I chose not to include Carl Pavano, who reportedly is nearing a deal to return to the Minnesota Twins, or Andy Pettitte, who will either retire or return to the New York Yankees.
The people I talk to still feel that it is more likely the Orioles will get a starter via trade. Among the starters potentially available in a deal are the Detroit Tigers’ Armando Galarraga, the Atlanta Braves’ Kenshin Kawakami, the Chicago Cubs’ Tom Gorzelanny and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Joe Blanton.
MacPhail would say only that he’s involved in multiple conversations about potential pitching acquisitions, but declined to elaborate.
“We got enough out there so you don’t know what’s going to come back and when or if anything comes back at all,” he said. “That’s the case as you get progressively close to spring training. We have a lot of different conversations going on.”
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