O's: Warm bodies on the way
The Orioles reportedly will sign pitcher Mark Hendrickson (right) by the end of the week, barring a physical that doesn't reveal he is really only 6 feet 8. The guy is going to look really good on the charity basketball team the O's are planning for next year, but I don't know if you pencil him into the No. 3 hole in the rotation with that 5.07 career ERA.
This, as my headline suggests, is what I like to call a "warm body" signing. The Orioles have four open slots in the rotation and they've got to have some veteran arms to compete for those jobs, especially if Jeremy Guthrie talks his way onto Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.
Hendrickson is 6-9 and 230 pounds. He's been around the block, playing for the Blue Jays, Rays, Dodgers and Marlins over seven major league seasons. He's had one winning season (for the Rays in 2005, and that year he gave up 49 more hits than innings and had a 5.90 ERA.) This would suggest that he might end up as a long guy in the bullpen (he is, after all, one of the longest guys in the history of the game), but that will depend on what else the Orioles do to flesh out the rotation.
I guess he qualifies as one of those "geographical" guys Andy MacPhail was talking about at the start of the winter, just not the one you had in mind. He lives in York, Pa., so if you thought you saw him at the Ravens game, who knows?
If you've been over to baseballreference.com, you've probably noticed that Hendrickson's career numbers are surprisingly similar to those of Daniel Cabrera, except that Hendrickson walks about half as many batters per inning.