The Tigers no longer appear to be in the running for free agent reliever Darren O’Day after acquiring closer Francisco Rodriguez yesterday from the Brewers. The more pressing question over here is whether the Orioles remain in the hunt.
I received confirmation on the FOXSports.com report that O’Day is seeking a four-year deal in the $28-$36 million range. The Tigers don’t seem inclined to pay closer money for a set-up man. The Orioles wouldn’t do it last winter with left-hander Andrew Miller, never making an attempt to negotiate with his agent.
The Yankees gave Miller $36 million over four years and reportedly are willing to trade him this winter.
As for O’Day, at least some folks in the Orioles organization aren’t scared away by a fourth year. They view O’Day as more durable.
My point here is I wouldn’t rule out the Orioles entirely after learning of O’Day’s target contract. They may not be the favorites - and you heard the same about first baseman Chris Davis - but they remain in the hunt.
* The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the winners of the Most Valuable Player awards in both leagues on MLB Network tonight.
The Nationals’ Bryce Harper is assured of taking the hardware from the senior circuit. The Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson, the Angels’ Mike Trout and the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain are the AL finalists. My guess is Donaldson.
The Orioles’ Davis and Manny Machado will have to settle for receiving votes.
Cal Ripken Jr. is the last Oriole to be named AL MVP back in 1991. He also won the award in 1983.
Other Orioles winners are Brooks Robinson in 1964, Frank Robinson in 1966 and Boog Powell in 1970.
Nelson Cruz placed seventh last year and Adam Jones was 14th. Davis was third in 2013, with Machado finishing ninth and Jones 13th. Jones finished sixth in 2012, with Jim Johnson placing 14th and Matt Wieters 21st.
Who can forget that Aubrey Huff was 16th in 2008?
Davis’ third-place finish two years ago eclipses reliever Randy Myers’ fourth-place finish in 1997. Rafael Palmeiro was sixth in 1996, with Brady Anderson placing ninth and Roberto Alomar 20th.
* Keith Johnson, who worked as the Angels player information coach during the second half of the 2015 season, reportedly will return to Salt Lake as Triple-A manager.
I wrote recently that Salt Lake manager Dave Anderson was expected to rejoin the Orioles organization. He served as their minor league infield coordinator in 2014 and expressed interest in coming back.
Kevin Bradshaw, hired as Anderson’s replacement, is expected to stay in the organization. The Orioles value his contributions.
* Former Orioles minor league left-hander Josh Hader tossed two more scoreless innings yesterday for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League to lower his ERA to 0.56.
Hader wasn’t particularly sharp, allowing two hits, walking two batters and throwing only 21 of his 40 pitches for strikes, but he’s allowed one run and struck out 19 batters in 16 innings. His fastball is touching the upper 90s, with a delivery that challenges hitters to pick up the ball.
Scouts seem to be divided on whether Hader projects as a starter or an Andrew Miller-type reliever. Either way, he’s a local kid who’s no longer in the organization after being part of the Bud Norris trade with the Astros.