The hunt for pitching (with note)

DALLAS - The Chicago White Sox and Tampa Rays have pitching to spare. The Orioles want a frontline starter to stabilize their rotation and take a little more pressure off the young arms.

So how exactly are they supposed to match up?

That’s the burning question here at the Hilton Anatole.

As I wrote earlier, White Sox general manger Kenny Williams would move Gavin Floyd or John Danks, but he wants young pitching in return. He’s also in the market for an outfield prospect.

The Orioles are hesitant to subtract pitching and tend to be overprotective of their young starters, and they’re not exactly rich in position prospects in the minors.

The Rays are more inclined to trade Wade Davis, who isn’t arbitration eligible until 2015, than James Shields. However, the Rays want a young, productive, inexpensive hitter in return.

They were interested in outfielder Nolan Reimold last winter and nearly acquired him for shortstop Jason Bartlett - a deal the Orioles are glad they didn’t complete. Now the Rays figure that they can pry first baseman Yonder Alonso and a catcher from the Reds.

By the way, the Reds also have inquired about Floyd.

The Orioles will almost certainly make a deal here - tomorrow if not today - and they’ll remain aggressive in trade talks after we leave Dallas. The challenge is finding the right partner when you don’t have a surplus at any position.

The plan was to stockpile the arms. It’s been a slow-developing plan. And good luck finding any executive or scout who’s drooling over the position players at the Double-A and Triple-A levels of the Orioles’ farm system.

I couldn’t help but notice yesterday that executive vice president Dan Duquette kept saying, “We have a lot of work to do.” And he didn’t just mean at the Winter Meetings.

NOTE: Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that the Cubs are trying to interest the Orioles in Alfonso Soriano as a left field/DH option. “Strict salary dump, w/#cubs paying bulk of $54m he’s owed”

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