Orioles reportedly interested in McClellan (updated)

Let’s start off by dismissing any rumors of a proposed trade involving Adam Jones and Adam Wainwright, or the Orioles hiring retired Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa in some capacity. Last night’s tweet from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wasn’t referencing either one of those scenarios.

According to Strauss, the Orioles are engaged in trade talks with the Cardinals involving pitcher Kyle McClellan, who spent part of last season as their fifth starter before being shut down because of fatigue.

Strauss writes that the Cardinals are looking to shed McClellan’s $2.5 million salary for 2012, a move likely tied to their attempts to sign free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt.

McClellan, 27, was 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA in 43 games, including 17 starts, last season. He’s 19-22 with a 3.61 ERA in four major league seasons.

The Orioles reportedly have shown the most recent interest in McClellan, who could cost a team a mid-level prospect in return. An Orioles source said today that he doesn’t expect the Cardinals to move McClellan and downplayed the possibility of a trade, but Strauss reports that they’re trying to strike a deal.

Update: I’m told that the Cardinals’ current asking price for McClellan is “too high” for the Orioles. The club likes him in both a starting and relief role.

McClellan posted a 2.27 ERA in 68 relief appearances in 2010. All 17 of his career starts came last season.

It’s not clear whether the Orioles would view McClellan as a starter or reliever. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is looking to add both types to the pitching staff, creating even more competition in spring training.

The Padres and Diamondbacks also are reportedly interested in McClellan, a 25th-round pick in the 2002 draft who can become a free agent in 2014.

In other news, the Orioles are looking to finalize deals with a few more six-year minor league free agents this week, including pitcher Armando Galarraga. Reports out of Venezuela that the Orioles signed Galarraga were incorrect, but it could happen this week.

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