As the Orioles introduced Garrett Atkins to the media earlier today, they still couldn’t commit to him as a first or third baseman. His position will depend on what moves follow before spring training opens in two months.
Andy MacPhail, Orioles president of baseball operations, noted that the club has “internal options we could live with based on what position Garrett plays.” He mentioned Michael Aubrey, Rhyne Hughes and Brandon Snyder and first base, and Ty Wigginton and Scott Moore at third.
“And that doesn’t count the things we might do between now and spring training,” MacPhail said.
“I feel like this is one of the few times in my career that supply will meet demand, and there will be some good opportunities for this club as the off-season continues to unfold. It will require a little patience. And some guys will go off the board who wouldn’t necessarily be our first choice. We just have to be patient and let the market unfold.
“My guess is I wouldn’t think we’ll be doing anything anytime soon, which is not to be interpreted as not doing anything between now and Sarasota.”
MacPhail didn’t include Josh Bell, another clear indication that the Orioles don’t want to rush him to the majors in April.
Atkins is prepared to play either position, though third would require less of an adjustment for a guy who must learn a new league.
“I have most of my experience at third base, and I obviously stepped in for Todd (Helton) when he went down with a back injury a few years ago and got experience there,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting a position and getting comfortable with it, whether it’s first or third. Whatever the team asks me to do, I’ll work on it and try to do the best I can.”
I’ll have more from today’s conference call in a few minutes.