O's and Atlanta talk Kawakami

An MLB source has confirmed reports that the Orioles and Braves have talked about a possible deal where the O's would acquire Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami.

Those talks started a while ago and other teams are also talking with the Braves and it's believed Pittsburgh is one of those teams. Atlanta would take on some of his salary and Kawakami is due to get $6.67 million in 2011.

The O's pursued Kawakami as free agent two years ago when they also pursued and signed Koji Uehara.

Perhaps he is being sought as a fifth starter that would allow the O's to keep young pitchers like Zach Britton and Chris Tillman in the minors at the start of the season.

Maybe Atlanta sees this as mostly a salary dump. The 35-year-old righty went 1-10, 5.15 last year and in August made five starts for Triple-A Gwinnett and was 0-1, 4.29.

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