O's odds and ends: 10 invites set, Duchscherer on O's radar, no changes with Vlad
Spring training invite list rounding into form: The Orioles won’t release the list of big league spring training invites for another week or so, but these 10 players will be on it: pitchers Mitch Atkins, Armando Gabino, Raul Rivero and Jose Rupe; catchers Adam Donachie, Michel Hernandez and Caleb Joseph; and infielders Ryan Adams, Brendan Harris and Tyler Henson. The Orioles will probably have no more than 60 players at big league spring training, so the 10 players mentioned above, along with the guys on the 40-man roster, leave about eight to 10 more spots. Some of those spots could be filled internally, and others could be filled by other free agents
Interest in Duchscherer: The remaining free-agent starter list hasn’t changed much, although Carl Pavano, as expected, re-signed with the Minnesota Twins. The name that stands out to me is Justin Duchscherer, who went 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and made the All-Star team with the Oakland Athletics in 2008. However, he’s made only five starts since that season because of a combination of things, from shoulder problems to back and hip problems to clinical depression. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported last night that Duchscherer, 33, has held private workouts for two American League teams. I can confirm that the Orioles were not one of those teams, but they still have some interest in the right-hander. Duchscherer will likely have another open workout for any interested teams in the next seven to 10 days, and I’d suspect that the Orioles will be there as the pitcher is intent on showing teams that he is 100 percent healthy after hip surgery in June. Duchscherer’s son lives in South Jersey and one of the pitcher’s priorities is to pitch closer to his son, so geographical factors work in the Orioles’ favor. Ducscherer also wants an opportunity to crack a major league rotation, and the Orioles can offer that as well.
Nothing new on Guerrero: An ESPNDeportes report today stated that the Orioles have the “inside track” on designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, citing a person close to the veteran slugger. That report was certainly news to the Orioles, who haven’t been aggressively pursuing Guerrero. I guess it’s possible that Guerrero simply doesn’t have a whole lot of options and is willing to accept a small one-year deal, thereby making him more attractive to the Orioles. But at this point, they appear ready to go with Luke Scott at designated hitter and a platoon of Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie in left field.
40-man spots: The Orioles have multiple minor league offers out to free agents, but they will likely save their 40th -- and final -- roster spot for a starting pitcher. That means that while they are still intent on adding a left-handed reliever to pair with Michael Gonzalez in the bullpen, they are trying to secure that piece on a minor league deal. Those available include Joe Beimel, Randy Flores, Mark Hendrickson, Ron Mahay, Denys Reyes, Scott Schoeneweis and Bobby Seay. Tim Byrdak, whom the Orioles had interest in on a minor league offer, has decided to sign with the New York Mets instead.
Odds and ends: Top pitching prospect Zach Britton has been added to the list of players attending FanFest next Saturday. He has been added to the 12:40 time slot at Autograph Station 2, taking the place of Troy Patton, who is now unable to attend. … ESPN announced that it will telecast 10 spring training games, including the Orioles’ March 22 game against the New York Yankees. … Individual tickets for the Orioles’ spring training games at newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at orioles.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 or at Sarasota-area Wal-Mart locations.
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