Cornering MacPhail

The Orioles won't be introducing a new acquisition at tomorrow's FanFest.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail pointed out during the Hot Stove Show on 105.7 The Fan that a player would have to pass a physical first, and since the club hasn't reached agreement with a free agent, "the likelihood of somebody being announced and then popping out from behind a curtain is about zero at this stage."

Makes sense.

MacPhail sounded encouraged that he'll find another player within the next week, or soon after. A corner infielder and left-handed pitcher are the priorities, and he would prefer a third baseman despite the limited market.

"I'm hopeful that over the course of the next week or so, we're able to get that wrapped up," he said. "I think the timing's right because the closer we get to that spring training reporting date, players want to know where they're going to be. So we should have the remaining players, who are fairly substantial at this point, go off the board in a more rapid pace.

"We would hope that next corner infielder we could add is a solid hitter. (But) there isn't a multitude of those power guys in the game, and I think the game is shifting a little bit away from the gaudy power numbers that were put up 10 years ago that we were used to seeing. The game is starting to shift and you can see, rightfully so, clubs starting to put emphasis on defense."

The interest in Miguel Tejada continues to grow, as does the possibility that he returns to the Orioles. MacPhail likes Joe Crede's glove and Tejada's bat, but he might have revealed a tie-breaker tonight.

"There are also durability issues with Joe over the course of his career, and not so much with Miguel, who's had over 650 plate appearances in all but one season in recent memory," he said.

"Of course, there are a lot of first base options that are still available to us. I don't think it took Sherlock Holmes to figure out that was going to be the case. You have Russell Branyan, who had 31 home runs last year in a big ballpark in Seattle."

MacPhail also said that Garrett Atkins indicated he would lean toward playing first if given the choice. I assumed he would want to stay at third, since he has more experience at the hot corner.

I'll have more from MacPhail after I return home.

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