If the Orioles finally reach agreement with right-hander Yovani Gallardo on a three-year deal, and it’s still expected to happen, the press conference might have to take place down in Sarasota.
We’re running out of Camden Yards time.
Gallardo would need to take and pass his physical. Team officials, public relations staff and media will be at the Ed Smith Stadium complex early this week. It would be a swift turnaround, to say the least.
It’s not like we’d be out of our element. The Orioles introduced Suk-min Yoon, Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz in Sarasota in 2014. Johan Santana agreed to his minor league deal during the same spring training and took questions in the media workroom.
Gallardo remains the primary target, but the Orioles plan to attend Tim Lincecum’s bullpen session in Phoenix. They’re just waiting on a confirmed date.
The Orioles are pretty much open to any bounceback candidate coming off an injury. They’d be doing the same with Cliff Lee if they sensed that he wanted to pitch in 2016.
They talked to the Padres about Andrew Cashner and James Shields, but couldn’t come up with the right package. Jonathan Schoop isn’t on the table and he won’t be at Petco Park except for a two-game series in June. No sense asking for him.
Schoop is the position player version of Kevin Gausman. Teams keep inquiring about him and the Orioles aren’t listening.
The Orioles also would like to hold onto left-hander Chris Lee, whose stock shot through the roof after he arrived at Double-A Bowie. His name has come up in trade talks. Scouts don’t miss a beat.
The Orioles’ pursuit of another outfielder also led them to the Padres. I’ve heard that Matt Kemp was discussed again, with San Diego obviously willing to eat some salary. Kemp is due $21.750 million this season, with $3.5 million paid by the Dodgers. It’s the same arrangement through 2019.
Kemp also was a consideration for the Orioles last winter before the Dodgers traded him to the Padres. He’s still not coming to Baltimore.
Dexter Fowler, Jay Bruce and Pedro Alvarez seem to be the most likely options for the Orioles in their pursuit of a hitter, though it’s also worth noting that David Murphy, Will Venable and Matt Joyce remain on the market as platoon options. As usual, the Orioles could go in many directions.
The Orioles are facing more difficult 40-man decisions. Trading for Bruce would at least make it a little easier, since they’d likely have to part with at least one player on the roster - probably a bullpen arm.
I’ve questioned how Alvarez fits on a roster that also includes Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo. Alvarez would be the primary designated hitter and Trumbo would play right field, with a defensive replacement at the ready in the late innings.
It may not be the ideal arrangement for a club that places such importance on defense, but it’s one way to go as spring training approaches. Alvarez’s bat and how it would play at Camden Yards continue to intrigue the Orioles.