I’m set up in the media workroom again, with a clear view of the podium where team executives announce their winter trades and signings.
Still waiting for the Orioles to take the microphone.
It became more apparent during yesterday’s 20-minute interview with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail that the club’s best chance to upgrade its lineup is via trade rather than a free-agent signing. I’m not saying the Orioles are out of the running for Carlos Pena, but they seem resigned to exploring “other options,” which signals a trade.
There’s some confusion here over whether the Orioles are offering Chris Tillman to the Diamondbacks, who want to move third baseman Mark Reynolds. Or whether the Diamondbacks brought up Tillman’s name. Or whether anyone brought up Tillman’s name. Lots of conflicting reports and rumors.
Talking to people close to Tillman, you can be sure that he’ll report to spring training in the best shape of his life after working out at API. We’re just waiting to find out which camp.
We’ve debated the wisdom of trading for Reynolds, whatever the cost. He strikes out a ton, but he also hits the long ball.
That’s 104 homers the past three seasons, and 638 strikeouts.
Some folks here already are doing the math on Reynolds, wondering how many strikeouts he’ll accumulate in the AL East.
The Orioles have to do something here. If Mark Reynolds is part of the activity, I’ll take it. And they’re the clear frontrunners to acquire him.
I’m to the point where I don’t care about strikeouts and low batting averages. Trade for Reynolds, overpay for Pena, trade for Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy, sign reliever Kevin Gregg, re-sign closer Koji Uehara (with Gregg being insurance in case Uehara lands on the DL again.)
Not sold on Reynolds? Make a big offer to Adrian Beltre and force him to turn it down, rather than concede that he doesn’t want to play in Baltimore. Beltre is known as a contract-year guy, and plenty of teams are leery of handing him an inflated deal.
Force him to turn it down. Otherwise, take your chances.
I’m heading to the lobby. The Expansion Era Committee will announce its Hall of Fame election results at 10 a.m. Managers, umpires, executives and longtime retired players are on the ballot. Former Orioles executive Pat Gillick could make it.
Manager Buck Showalter should be available to the media later today.
Update: Gillick is headed to Cooperstown.
You’ll find the ballot in this release.
The Oriole made the ALCS in two of Gillick’s three seasons with the Orioles.