Clock is ticking on Orioles chances to make a move
Oriole officials have been mostly mum with the non-waiver trade deadline looming Sunday afternoon. However, nothing has really changed about the club’s position.
They have heard from teams with interest in several different players, but the main guys that they are discussing are starter Jeremy Guthrie, reliever Koji Uehara, and to a much lesser extent, first baseman Derrek Lee.
I would think that if another team is interested in Lee and is willing to absorb a good portion of the approximate $2.5 million that he has left on his one-year contract, the Orioles would be happy to give the veteran another chance to go the playoffs for little more than a low-level prospect or two. If that happens, I would suspect that the Orioles would give Mark Reynolds an extended look at first base to see if he could be an option there next season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks seem like logical fits for Lee, and they both had scouts watching the Orioles-Blue Jays over the past three days
As for Guthrie and Uehara, Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail spoke with his manager, Buck Showalter, for a while yesterday to fill him in on some different trade possibilities. MacPhail is expected to do the same with owner Peter Angelos either today or tomorrow.
The expectation of people around the club is that the Orioles will likely make at least one move, and Uehara is the most likely to go. Even with how dominant that he has been this year, there are legitimate concerns about Uehara’s health and durability. The Pirates, Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers could all be fits there, and all those teams have had scouts around the Orioles in recent series.
The Orioles lost a potential suitor for Guthrie when the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Edwin Jackson. But I’m told the Tigers and Cleveland Indians have talked to the Orioles about Guthrie, while the Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees remain on the periphery as potential suitors. It will be interesting to see how Guthrie fares tonight, and what teams are there watching him at Yankee Stadium. Guthrie hasn’t faced the Yankees this season, but he’s 3-9 with a 5.46 ERA in 16 career outings against them.
One game probably isn’t going to determine Guthrie’s fate, but it certainly won’t help MacPhail’s desire to extract that extra piece from a contender that he’s been holding out for if the right-hander gets knocked around.