Orioles roster taking shape
The signing of Chris Gomez to a minor league contract brings the Orioles' 25-man roster more into focus. Club sources have indicated that the team's lack of top-end pitching depth will likely force manager Dave Trembley to open the season with a 13-man pitching staff, which reduces his position options.
If that's how it plays out, and a lot can happen between now and early April, it would leave room for only three extra players -- probably newly acquired Ryan Freel, Gomez and whoever ends up being the No. 2 catcher. Since every starting position appears set except catcher and either first base or designated hitter, that would leave extra outfielder Lou Montanez and journeyman Oscar Salazar on the bubble -- or out of the major league picture if the O's end up signing a right-handed-hitting first baseman.
When the Orioles signed utilityman Donnie Murphy in November, he figured to make the club, but now he could be the odd man out with Gomez in the mix. Gomez's range at shortstop might be questionable at this point in his career, but he's a versatile player who will make a contribution at the plate. He's also a great clubhouse guy who was well-liked by the organization during his first go-round in Baltimore.
Debunking myself: Though I've speculated about the possible availability of Cleveland's Ryan Garko, a high-ranking industry source said this week that the Indians and Orioles have had absolutely no discussions about him.