The general managers meetings start today in Boca Raton, Fla., and executive vice president Dan Duquette will try to lay the groundwork for future deals at next month’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.
An acquisition this week would come as a surprise. Heck, it’s usually pretty quiet at the Winter Meetings except for the Rule 5 draft.
As the Orioles search for an outfielder in the early stages of free agency, they also continue to check the trade market and monitor possible non-tenders.
Josh Reddick’s name figures to come up again. The Orioles like him. The only holdup is a pretty big one.
He might not be available.
The Athletics reportedly intend to keep Reddick, who otherwise would be an Orioles target. He made $4.1 million this season and is arbitration-eligible for the last time.
* I’m wondering whether the Orioles could have renewed interest in free agent outfielder Nori Aoki.
They liked him last winter, but not as much as Colby Rasmus. They were linked to him in the media, but the connection wasn’t nearly as strong as implied.
Aoki appeared in only 93 games with the Giants due to concussion symptoms. He batted .287 with a .353 on-base percentage, matching his career numbers in four major league seasons. His on-base capabilities are sorely needed in Baltimore and he can play all three outfield spots, with the majority of his starts in right field.
* I’ve heard from numerous people in the industry that former minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson is returning to the Orioles organization.
Anderson left the Orioles after one year to accept the job as manager at Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels’ organization. He had served as Rangers third base and first base coach over five seasons.
The Orioles hired Kevin Bradshaw as Anderson’s replacement and he’s going to remain in the organization. There’s plenty of time to sort out the minor league assignments.
Look for the usual shuffling of coaches and at least one managerial change.
* Though it’s bound to change depending on future moves and non-tender decisions, the Orioles have only one player on their 40-man roster who’s eligible for free agency next winter. It would make my job so much easier, which is a priority.
Left-hander Brian Matusz is down to his final year of arbitration eligibility and can test the market before the 2017 season. However, he remains a non-tender and trade candidate after making $3.2 million.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected that Matusz will receive $3.4 million in arbitration, which seems too low. His salary has increased from $1.6 million in 2013 to $2.4 million in 2014 to $3.2 million.
Matusz registered a career-low 2.94 ERA in 58 appearances this season, but his 49 innings were the lowest since he made eight starts as a rookie in 2009. He averaged a career-high 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Left-handers batted .186 against him and right-handers hit .244.
Matusz led Orioles relievers in inherited runners with 46 and inherited runners stranded with 29 - not his typical percentage.
The lingering question is whether Matusz’s salary is reaching a point where the Orioles decide they can’t carry it while he’s used mostly as a left-handed specialist.
* A reminder that the Players Choice Awards will be announced tonight from 8-9 p.m. on MLB Network.
Adam Jones, the Marlins’ Dee Gordon and the White Sox’s David Robertson are finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given annually to the player “who inspires others through his on-field performances and contributions to his community.”
Jones is the only Orioles representative. Here’s the list of candidates for each award:
Outstanding Player: Nelson Cruz (Mariners); Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays); Mike Trout (Angels)
Outstanding Pitcher: Sonny Gray (Athletics); Dallas Keuchel (Astros); David Price (Blue Jays)
Outstanding Rookie: Carlos Correa (Astros); Francisco Lindor (Indians); Miguel Sano (Twins)
Comeback Player: Prince Fielder (Rangers); Kendrys Morales (Royals); Alex Rodriguez (Yankees)
Outstanding Player: Nolan Arenado (Rockies); Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks); Bryce Harper (Nationals)
Outstanding Pitcher: Jake Arrieta (Cubs); Zack Greinke (Dodgers); Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
Outstanding Rookie: Kris Bryant (Cubs); Matt Duffy (Giants); Jung Ho Kang (Pirates)
Comeback Player: Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies); Matt Harvey (Mets); Joey Votto (Reds)
Player of Year: Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays); Zack Greinke (Dodgers); Bryce Harper (Nationals)
Man of the Year: Dee Gordon (Marlins); Adam Jones (Orioles); David Robertson (White Sox)