I woke up this morning without another pitcher being traded. We’re off to a good start.
Brad Bergesen’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Fla., and there will have to be a flurry of activity between the two sides today to avoid it. Right now, it seems inevitable.
Bergesen, also a trade candidate, is seeking $1.2 million. The Orioles are offering $800,000. He was 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 34 appearances, including 12 starts, last season.
He has an option remaining and could wind up in Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation if he doesn’t earn a spot in the Orioles’ bullpen.
The Orioles are 6-0 in hearings with general counsel H. Russell Smouse. And I can’t hear that name without thinking of Mike Flanagan saying, “Not a creature was stirring, not even Russell Smouse.”
If the Orioles had gone to arbitration yesterday with Jeremy Guthrie, one of their primary arguments against him would have been how so few of his losses were bullpen-related. I haven’t looked it up, but it’s somewhere around none - for what that’s worth.
It could have been $3 million before the Orioles traded Guthrie to the Rockies.
Guthrie will be missed by many of the beat writers. He certainly kept us on our toes. And I’ll always respect how he took the ball every five days and didn’t fall apart during the long stretches where the Orioles refused to score runs for him. He had guts, which seemed appropriate, given the name.
Fred Ferreira, the Orioles’ executive director of international recruiting, has returned to Baltimore after attending the Caribbean Series. He didn’t meet up with Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, as originally planned, and that raises more questions about the Orioles’ real interest level.
The front office continues to discuss and debate Cespedes, who batted .333 with 33 homers and 99 RBIs for the Cuban National Team in 2010-11, but collected only five hits and struck out 10 times in 35 at-bats in the Dominican Winter League. One member of the organization pointed out that Cespedes is “getting pretty expensive,” and the general feeling is he’ll end up with the Marlins. The Cubs also are one of the favorites.
ESPNChicago.com is reporting that the bidding for the Cuban defector may go as high as six years, $60 million. You can decide whether that’s a wise investment for a 26-year-old who’s never played in the majors.
Cespedes still hasn’t obtained his visa after establishing residency in the Dominican Republic.
I’d take Cespedes over Manny Ramirez, but nobody is asking for my opinion.
At least one member of the Orioles’ organization views signing Ramirez as something of a “win-win” for the club because the veteran DH is probably willing to accept a minor league deal. If the Orioles don’t like him, they can keep him down there.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette told reporters yesterday that the Orioles are “aware that Manny is on the market and we’ve had exploratory talks with his agent and we’ve seen him work out. We’re still considering the composition of the club and some of the challenges integrating a player like Manny into our ballclub and market. So that’s really all I can say about it right now.”
I think he said plenty. The Orioles are interested in Ramirez, but they’re also weighing the risks of adding him to their clubhouse and subjecting their fan base to Manny being Manny.