Deadlines and commitments: What to leave in, what to leave out

The countdown continues to Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline. I'm thinking about selling T-shirts outside the ballpark.

Or perhaps I'll just leave the country and avoid all the rumors.

I was reminded yesterday by a member of the organization that just because a name is linked to the Orioles - usually via Twitter - doesn't mean they contacted the other team. It's often happening in reverse. Teams that are trying to unload pitchers know the Orioles are looking for another starter.

I keep hearing the same thing: The Orioles don't have a lot to offer from their farm system with Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado off the table. I still expect them to make a trade, but it won't be a blockbuster unless executive vice president Dan Duquette reverses field like Barry Sanders.

As I mentioned yesterday, Padres executive Omar Minaya attended last night's game at Camden Yards. It makes sense to be here with the Athletics in town. They're also a potential trade partner.

featured_sidebar_duquette.jpgBoth teams have held discussions with the Padres regarding third baseman Chase Headley. And every report I've seen says the asking price is ridiculously high.

A tweet yesterday afternoon from FOX Sports stated that the Orioles are in the market for a left-handed reliever. My first response as I read it while standing outside the clubhouse: Didn't they have one at Triple-A in J.C. Romero before they let him opt out of his contract?

Romero seemed to be getting the job done, but it's not like I scouted him. Perhaps the numbers were deceiving.

Anyway, the pressing question from one member of the organization is, where would the Orioles fit a left-hander in a bullpen that includes Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala, Darren O'Day, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom and Troy Patton? Another deal would have to be made.

The Orioles' list of preferred acquisitions clearly begins with a starting pitcher and is followed by a hitter. (A third baseman with a good OBP and a glove that doesn't repel ground balls would be ideal.) A situational lefty should be the least of their concerns, thought it might have been useful last night.

They've gone this long without one. Take it if you can find it, but don't run up you Verizon bill worrying about it.

(And do not try to talk Dontrelle Willis out of retirement so he can try it again.)

Looks to me like another right-handed bat would come in handy. Again, this team leans heavily to the left.

Johnson's poor second half is becoming an issue. It wasn't a laser show with him on the mound last night - the A's didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball - but he's sporting an 18.47 ERA since the All-Star break.

Manager Buck Showalter has been burned repeatedly when he's inserted Ayala into a game with runners on base. Eighteen of Ayala's 31 inherited runners have scored. Meanwhile, Gregg has allowed only two of 12 to cross the plate. Lindstrom has allowed four of 17. O'Day has allowed five of 25. Patton has allowed five of 23. Strop has allowed six of 15.

Shameless plug alert: I'm appearing on "Wall to Wall Baseball" from noon to 2 p.m. on MASN before fighting my way through soccer traffic to get to Camden Yards for first pitch.

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