The club isn’t going to confirm the Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins signings until both players pass their physicals. Technically, they’re still not Orioles property.
The Orioles are in the process of arranging for Gonzalez to report to Camden Yards tomorrow, but Atkins is more likely to arrive early next week.
Gonzalez moved to the top of the Orioles’ wish list because the system is thin in left-handed pitching, and he can close or work in a set-up role. He’s likely to get the bulk of the save opportunities, but he’ll also be signed for two years, so his duties could change down the road.
The Orioles made an offer to Atkins the day after he was non-tendered. He could hit cleanup in this lineup if a big bat isn’t added later this winter.
Early prediction for the top four: Brian Roberts, Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis and Atkins. But another corner infielder could jump into the mix and scramble things.
Don’t look for the Orioles to make any more moves before January unless they reach agreement with left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who was moved to the back burner while they hunted for a starter and closer. But they’re not done.
Nothing new on the Erik Bedard front. He isn’t expected to sign with anyone before January, as more starters are taken off the market.
The Orioles still don’t have a good handle on when he’ll be available to pitch, but they don’t currently believe that he’ll be sidelined through the first half of the season.
It’s accurate to report that the Orioles spoke to agent Scott Boras about free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday, whose name came up during the Gonzalez negotiations. The same holds true of Hank Blalock, another Boras client. But the Orioles aren’t in the hunt for Holliday.
The money he wants far exceeds what they’re willing to spend, and they’re satisfied with their outfield, though his bat undeniably brings a certain appeal. Don’t get your hopes up.
Speaking of which, you can forget the Adrian Gonzalez rumor. It’s not true. One official describes it as “complete fiction.”