The Orioles are close to completing a trade for a hitter, according to a source outside the organization, and speculation centers on veteran Jim Thome, who isn't in the Phillies lineup today.
No one with the Orioles will confirm that a deal is in place, but an announcement is expected following today's game against the Indians at Camden Yards.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia is reporting that the Orioles and Phillies are engaged in serious talks involving Thome. It appears that an agreement has been reached, according to a source.
Thome, 41, is hitting .242/.338/.516 with two doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs in 62 at-bats. He's started four games at first base, but is viewed as a designated hitter who would provide some pop to a sluggish offense.
Thome has hit 609 career home runs for five teams during a 22-year career.
It's not known who would be headed to Philadelphia in the deal, but it's not believed to be anyone playing in today's game.
Update: One holdup to announcing the deal is that the Orioles haven't informed the player who's headed to the Phillies. Triple-A Norfolk's flight home from Columbus today was cancelled, so players are spread out on different flights.
Since June 8, Thome is batting .310 with all five of his home runs and all 15 of his RBIs to go with an 1.110 OPS (.714 slugging). In interleague play, he batted .342 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 12 games.
As for today's game, Chris Davis hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, but Shin-Soo Choo's RBI single and Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double off Tommy Hunter in the fifth increased the Phillies' lead to 7-4.
Update II: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Orioles have acquired Thome. Like I said, announcement coming after the game.
Davis' ball landed on Eutaw St., tying the Camden Yards single-season record of eight.
Shelley Duncan just homered off Hunter in the sixth.
Indians 9, Orioles 4.
That's 20 home runs allowed by Hunter this season.
Update III: Kyle Simon, a fourth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona, was scratched from tonight's start with Single-A Frederick. According to multiple reports, he's headed to the Phillies in the Thome deal.
Simon is 2-8 with a 3.96 ERA with the Keys.
Update IV: Rosenthal is reporting that the Orioles also are sending minor league catcher Gabriel Lino, 19, to the Phillies. Lino is hitting .218/.282/.340 with 13 doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs in 56 games with Single-A Delmarva.
Thome is expected to be in uniform tomorrow, according to the Orioles, who just confirmed the trade.
Triple-A left-hander Zach Phillips was designated for assignment to make room for Thome on the 40-man roster.