What a difference one offseason can make.
Last winter, the Orioles were engaged in trade talks with the Cardinals involving pitcher Kyle McClellan, who was viewed as a candidate for the rotation or the bullpen. As I wrote here on Jan. 29, the Orioles balked at the Cardinals’ asking price and gave up.
Their interest also waned because of concerns that he wasn’t healthy, which proved to be accurate.
St. Louis released McClellan yesterday, making him free to sign with any team. Could the Orioles reconsider?
Well, pretty much everything is subject to change during the hot stove season, but I’ve heard that McClellan’s name hasn’t come up in discussions within the organization. Not yet, anyway.
McClellan’s health remains an issue. He didn’t pitch after May 17 this year and underwent surgery on his right shoulder. Nothing real serious. Just a clean-up.
McClellan, 28, has resumed throwing and is expected to be ready for spring training, but he was shut down in 2011 because of fatigue and appeared in only 16 games this season, allowing 11 runs in 18 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
McClellan would be a gamble. He’s also arbitration-eligible after making $2.5 million this year.
Right now, the Orioles don’t appear willing to roll the dice on him. Their bullpen is mostly set barring a trade, and they’d rather sign a veteran starter who’s more durable.
Let’s see if anything changes.
In other news, the Nationals announced today that former Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco will serve as their first base coach in 2013, with Trent Jewett moving to third. Tarasco had been working as the Nats’ roving outfield instructor.
He’ll also be in charge of pointing out fan interference and demanding replays. At least, that’s my assumption.