Off to Orlando

I’m minutes away from heading to the airport for my Southwest flight to Orlando and the start of Hell Week, also known as Major League Baseball’s winter meetings.

I’ll be way past my feet in tweets, so I’ll need to watch my step. Reporters will try frantically to get their links posted first on mlbtraderumors, whether the news is accurate or not. The truth can come out later.

I don’t know what some of these scouts look like, so I’ll spend a lot of time asking, “Who’s that guy?” As you can imagine, it gets annoying real fast - and I mean for the unfortunate souls who are standing next to me.

Everyone recognizes Scott Boras, of course, so we’ll be subjected to the usual stakeout so he can give his state-of-the-clients address. The whispers will begin that he’s supposed to step off a certain elevator at a specific time, at which point the stampede will almost knock him into next year’s meetings.

It won’t match the Mark Teixeira madness of a few winters ago, but Boras always draws a considerable crowd. It’s all part of the circus.

I don’t want to be anywhere near this blog if the Orioles don’t make at least one significant transaction in Orlando. I’m not talking about a middle reliever, though at least one bullpen arm could be added. Re-signing Koji Uehara would be a great move, but it’s not enough.

A few days ago, most of you probably would have settled for a Mark Reynolds trade - and I think that’s a very real possibility this week - but I’m not so sure anymore after the Adam Dunn and Adrian Gonzalez news.’s Jon Heyman tweeted that Chris Tillman’s name has come up in those discussions, but if that’s true, we don’t know whether the Diamondbacks initiated it and were shot down.

I’ve written many times that Tillman is one young arm that the Orioles are willing to part with in the right deal, but I’m not convinced they would do it for Reynolds and his inflated strikeout total and puny batting average.

The Diamondbacks reportedly want multiple bullpen arms, and David Hernandez is certainly one of them.

The winter meetings have brought us, in recent years, the Ramon Hernandez and Kevin Millwood trades. I’ll predict one deal, one signing and one re-signing in Orlando.

I’d probably take two out of three at this point. The bar has been lowered so much, it’s running underground.

Reynolds’ name came up during my phone conversation with new hitting coach Jim Presley. He wasn’t pushing for the Orioles to acquire the third baseman. He’s not recruiting another team’s player. He just noted that Reynolds is “a big-time athletic kid who can really pick it at third base. I’ve seen him play defense and to me, especially playing in Arizona, if you get him on a little slower infield with more grass, he’ll be a better defensive player.”

Presley also added: “I don’t think he’ll hit .198 again.”

“I know he punches out a lot, but if he hits 32 homers and drives in 80-90 runs, I think you can live with it.”

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