Orioles are interested in Nakajima

I was fully prepared to drop an Office Space line on you and call this entry "Naka...Naka...Not gonna play in Baltimore." But I won't go quite that far.

Plus, I'm not sure how many of you would get the reference. If you do, you earn some serious cool points. We'll hang out.

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A few readers asked about the Orioles' potential interest in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, 28, who could be posted, as they say, by the Seibu Lions.

Here's what I know:

The Orioles have interest in him, enough that John Stockstill returned to Japan to take another look at him. They've scouted him multiple times, along with a lot of other teams.

I don't know how much the Orioles are willing to offer him. The Orioles really don't know until the market is set. But he's got their attention.

Drafting shortstop Manny Machado earlier this summer doesn't factor into this decision. Machado could be four years away from the majors. Maybe more, but hopefully less. Either way, he's not going to crack the lineup in 2011. Somebody has to do it.

Manager Buck Showalter's interest in re-signing Cesar Izturis is a bigger consideration. As I've written, Showalter kept raving about Izturis' defense and intangibles over the last two months. If he pushes hard for the Orioles to retain Izturis, there's less reason to pursue Nakajima.

Showalter is pro-Izturis, so the guess here is he'll want the Orioles to re-sign the veteran shortstop.

My question is, why can't I find any stats on Nakajima beyond 2009? I found this and that, which doesn't help.

Never mind. My new good friend Adam R. just passed along this link.

Here's more on Nakajima from FanGraphs.

The Rays might non-tender Jason Bartlett. Would you rather have the Orioles pursue him if he's available, attempt to re-sign Izturis, enter the bidding for Nakajima or go in another direction?

From the AFL: Leadoff hitter Xavier Avery went 0-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases, and Ryan Adams - starting at third base and batting second - went 1-for-4 with a walk and RBI in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 4-3 victory over the Peoria Saguaros. Pat Egan gave up a run and two hits.

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