Orioles outright Phelps, and other notes

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles outrighted infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A Norfolk, leaving 37 players on their 40-man roster.

Reliever Ryan Webb will be added Tuesday after passing his physical in Baltimore and signing his two-year, $4.15 million deal.

Phelps, 26, was claimed off waivers from the Indians on Nov. 25. He appeared in 53 games for Cleveland over the last three seasons, batting .159/.221/.248 (18-for-113) with two homers and 11 RBIs. He batted .267/.333/.443 with nine homers and 46 RBIs in 65 games for Triple-A Columbus and went 0-for-9 with the Indians in 2013.

The acquisition of another switch-hitting second baseman, Jemile Weeks, made Phelps expendable on the 40-man roster.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter met with reporters this afternoon at the Swan and Dolphin Resort. Here are some bullet items. I’ll file quotes later:

* Duquette said he met with “several” agents and a couple of team executives today. He hasn’t made a new offer to a free agent since arriving here.

* Duquette said he’s confident that he will add a player within the next few days, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

* The Orioles will consider pitchers who are currently rehabbing from injuries and won’t be ready on opening day, which includes Severna Park native Gavin Floyd and relievers Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey.

* Duquette said finding a leadoff hitter after Nate McLouth’s departure will be “a challenge.”

* The Orioles would prefer finding a designated hitter who also can play in the field.

* Duquette is looking for right-handed and left-handed hitters. However, the preference is for a lefty.

* The Orioles will hold their annual pitchers’ mini-camp on Jan. 13-16 in Sarasota. About 15 eligible pitchers will attend, including Wei-Yin Chen, T.J. McFarland and Dylan Bundy. Third baseman Manny Machado also will be there, enabling the Orioles to check on his knee.

* The Orioles still plan on letting Brian Matusz compete for a spot in the rotation next spring.

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