The Orioles are looking to add pitching. Any kind of pitching. It doesn’t have to be a starter, though adjusting the rotation again remains a possibility.
“I would say right now we’d like to add a corner infielder, but we don’t really have to because we can go internally if we need to. But we’re still looking at that,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. “And we’re still looking at any pitching where we think it would be an improvement.”
The club remains open to re-signing Mark Hendrickson. It just hasn’t happened as quickly as many of us anticipated.
“We still have interest,” MacPhail said. “We thought he did a good job for us. He could really do a couple different things for us. At this stage of our young pitching staff, that has value to it. And we like him in the clubhouse with our guys. But we have to see how some of these other things play out, as far as what we do and how extensive it’s going to be and how our roster shapes up. So we can’t quite commit yet, but we never pretended that there wasn’t interest.”
If the Orioles retain Hendrickson, they still could sign a left-handed specialist for the bullpen.
“We’ll always sort of stay in the hunt for pitching,” MacPhail said.
Erik Bedard remains a possibility for the rotation, but he doesn’t seem to be in a rush to sign.
“I think they’ve always thought this was going to be a late-January type deal anyway, if that,” MacPhail said.
Despite the speculation that Bedard might be unavailable to pitch until the second half, the Orioles don’t believe his rehab is moving along that slowly.
“Like any free-agent signing, whether it would be Erik or anybody, they’d have to take a physical before so we could try to get a sense,” MacPhail said. “I think our guys feel like, based on medical stuff they’ve seen so far, it’s sooner as opposed to later.”
No sense asking me about Ben Sheets. The Orioles requested his medical records, but never received them, and he apparently wants to be paid as if he isn’t a health risk. There’s no match.
You can say the same about Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, though it has nothing to do with medical records or health. The Orioles never heard back from his representatives, the Hendricks brothers, after indicating how much they were willing to offer. That’s a clear sign that he can get more money someplace else.
The Orioles like Chapman. He throws hard, he’s young and he’s left-handed. But they don’t regard him as highly as some media outlets that predicted a bidding war for his services.
Chapman can touch 100 mph with his fastball, but he’ll probably have to pitch in the 92-93 range. And not everyone is sold on him - at least not enough to back up the truck.
As I often say, it’s not my money, so I have no problem spending big for him. The price of my seat won’t go up. If he’s a bust, I’m not out a dime.