Bird Talk: Balfour update, minor moves

Spring training is less than a month away. It seems like just yesterday that the regular season ended.

Well, not really. Personally, I’m ready for the season to start again.

Although Alex Rodriguez dominated baseball news over the last few days, reporters thankfully had reason to write about something else. I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from exhaustion from A-Rod-gate.

* Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun says the Orioles are focusing the remainder of the offseason on adding a starting pitcher and a reserve catcher, but not a closer. Connolly says the Orioles are comfortable with in-house options (come on down, Tommy Hunter) instead of looking at an outside option.

* Oh, about those injury concerns, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted the following:

Wrist and knee injuries? Wait, what?

As’s Roch Kubatko said previously, Balfour remains a free agent after his deal with the O’s fell apart. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the team liked and still likes Balfour, but doesn’t want to necessarily commit two years to him because of previously reported injury concerns.

* It’s no secret that the people of Charm City haven’t been charmed by the Orioles’ (lack of) moves this offseason. examined the thought process behind the front office giving 40-man roster spots to some former top prospects who have minimal major league experience. The Orioles have signed Kelvin De La Cruz, Edgmer Escalona and Francisco Peguero to big league deals so far this offseason. Essentially, it’s a low-risk, low-investment move for teams to sign these toolsy players.

It’s worked elsewhere in the past and appears to be a developing trend being led by the Orioles, so why not?

* On the flipside, Anthony Castrovince of suggests the Orioles have been too quiet for a team with so many needs. Just to recap, the Orioles lost Scott Feldman, Brian Roberts, Nate McLouth and Jim Johnson. As Showalter said in a radio interview, fans expect the Orioles to win because of the expectations the team has created over the last couple of seasons. Kubatko has more here.

My take: Spring training is less than a month away. Players can always be added later through trades. Why not try the low-cost, low-risk approach? There are always trades to be made throughout a season.

That’s a wrap of the Birds chatter going on nationally. Check back next week as we get closer to spring training and FanFest.

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