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Oh Danys Boy

I can’t let Danys Baez join the Phillies without wishing him the best of luck with team No. 6. Baez reportedly has agreed to a two-year deal, pending a physical next week. I’m a little surprised that he netted more than one year, but good for him. A few notes about Baez from the 2009 season: • He went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA, 59

A little housekeeping

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail indicated yesterday that the Orioles aren’t nearing any deals for a corner infielder or starting pitcher. These things can change abruptly, but nothing is expected to happen in the near future - unless they offer Matt Holliday $200 million over 10 years. It appears that first baseman Carlos Delgado could begin playing in Puerto Rico this weekend, which would

Shorebird shuffling

Was it supposed to snow again? Wasn’t I supposed to buy a shovel and gloves? I hate winter. The Orioles still need to fill a few more positions on their minor league staffs, but they’ve already made an interesting hire at Single-A Delmarva. Former center fielder Mike Devereaux will serve as field coach for the Shorebirds in 2010, replacing former third baseman Ryan Minor, who

No Holliday greeting (expanded)

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has denied a FOXSports report that the club made an eight-year, $130 million offer to free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday. MacPhail said there’s “no validity” to it. And he was adamant. MacPhail and agent Scott Boras discussed Holliday once, during negotiations with free-agent closer Mike Gonzalez, but the Orioles weren’t willing to meet his price. Sorry to disappoint you,

The next class

While wondering how many of you were surprised by LeRon McClain’s selection to the Pro Bowl... With so many readers being curious about next year’s free-agent class, and debating it’s worth vs. the current crop, I wanted to pass along this link from mlbtraderumors, in case you missed it in the comments section. You’ll notice a significant drop at first base after Albert Pujols (and

Bay tripper (updated)

Rather than being forced to accept a lower offer than the one he turned down from the Red Sox, outfielder Jason Bay reportedly has agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets that includes a vesting option for 2014 that could bring the total package to around $80 million. Bay didn’t want any part of Citi Field until the Mets gave him around

The outfield and more on Steve Johnson

If you’re a fan of FanGraphs, you might be interested in this piece about the Orioles’ potential logjam in the outfield - which doesn’t seem to concern the Orioles, considering they were ready to coax Al Bumbry and Ken Singleton out of retirement back in September as they began to run short of healthy bodies. I’d like to add a few key points: Luke Scott

This, that and the other

My belated Christmas continues in Ocean Pines today, but I wanted to keep the blog fires burning. I hope most of you have recovered from your holiday celebrations and are preparing for a happy and safe New Year. No truth to the rumor that the ball has been moved from Times Square and will drop in shallow right field at Camden Yards. My sister bought

Because You Asked - The Quickening

Tempers have been pretty hot around here lately, but nothing compares to the heat that rises off the hot stove - except during the holiday break. Better wear your gloves if you’re looking to warm your hands. With the Orioles in wait-and-see mode as we approach the start of 2010, this seemed like a good time to break out another entry that tackles the most

As the market plays out

With a week left before the ball drops on another year, a few free agents on the market might want to consider lowering their demands. Third baseman Adrian Beltre reportedly is seeking $10-15 million a year, but teams aren’t forming a line around the block to hand it over. The Athletics reportedly are interested in him, but “only in an Oakland economy-size financial package,” according

Crow on Pie

No, it isn’t a holiday tradition at my house, or a nasty prank that Santa pulls on the kids. While talking about new infielder Garrett Atkins this week, Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley summoned Felix Pie’s name as he contemplated the work that awaited him in spring training. Crowley pointed out that Atkins is in a separate category because Pie only had a minor league

Crowing about the next challenge

Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley doesn’t know a lot about Garrett Atkins, but he has a pretty firm grasp on how he’ll form a relationship with the infielder and bring out the best in him. Crowley inherits the responsibility of putting Atkins back on the right track after the seven-year veteran skidded into a ditch in Colorado. Atkins batted .226 with nine homers and 48

Unable to decide on Delgado

It’s become part of my winter routine. I file a blog entry, check the reader comments and do a search on Carlos Delgado to see whether he’s playing in Puerto Rico. So far, his stat line reads as follows: Average: .000 Home runs: 0 RBIs: 0 Games: 0 Delgado is listed as a reserve on the Gigantes de Carolina roster in the Puerto Rican Winter

Crunching some numbers with breakfast

While sifting through the Orioles’ post-season media guide, I came across a few numbers that jumped off the pages. As if I needed this place to become more cluttered. For example: * Nick Markakis batted .211 with five extra-base hits in his last 28 games; he hit .405 in nine games against the White Sox, and .324 with 30 RBIs in 36 games against the

Sifting through the stats and quotes

Garrett Atkins is 3-for-23 lifetime at Camden Yards, with one RBI, one run scored, two walks and five strikeouts. Atkins is batting .450 (9-for-20) in five games as a designated hitter, including two doubles, one homer, four RBIs and one run scored. He’s a .243 career hitter with eight homers in 105 games at first base, and a .295 hitter with 88 homers in 642

A steady Atkins diet of comments

Garrett Atkins knew for the last three or four months that the Rockies would non-tender him. And he learned of the Orioles’ interest in him almost immediately after the move became official. “Obviously, it’s a great opportunity here,” he said during today’s conference call. “You look at the lineup and they have great hitters - young, left-handed and right-handed. This lineup will score runs. And

What’s next for Atkins and team?

As the Orioles introduced Garrett Atkins to the media earlier today, they still couldn’t commit to him as a first or third baseman. His position will depend on what moves follow before spring training opens in two months. Andy MacPhail, Orioles president of baseball operations, noted that the club has “internal options we could live with based on what position Garrett plays.” He mentioned Michael

Still waiting on Atkins (updated again)

Garrett Atkins is undergoing his physical exam in Baltimore, and his signing should become official later today. The only real news would come if he failed it, which would be an upset of major proportions. The only drama for me - and this is purely for selfish reasons - is whether I’m driving to the warehouse for another media gathering in the Jay Payton Room,

Conversation with Rich Hill

Pitcher Rich Hill told me last night that he’s heard from a “pretty good amount of teams” that are interested in signing him, but he’s still waiting for a major league deal that will return him to a 40-man roster. Hill estimated that he could make a decision within the next two weeks, and the Orioles remain in the mix. He elected to become a

Trading places

This little nugget probably won’t make you feel any better about those 12 straight losing seasons that are continually thrust into our faces, but did you know that the Orioles are the fifth-best trading team of the 20th century? I doubt that the 2000 season is included in this survey. I received an e-mail earlier today from ACTA Sports that credits statistical consultant Doug Decatur

The Bedard debate

As I scrolled through the comments yesterday, I noticed a little back-and-forth among fans regarding pitcher Erik Bedard. And since the forecast doesn’t call for an avalanche of news to bury the blog this week, I’ll gladly take the opportunity to turn the discussion into an entry. (Before you ask, nobody is getting a check in the mail for giving me the idea. Nice try,

Agents of fortune

A neighbor was nice enough to lend me his snow shovel so I could dig out my car. It was falling apart, and the crack running through it widened by the time I finished, so I’ll buy him a new one to show my gratitude. He’d rather have Jason Bay, but he’ll settle for a shovel. Does anyone want Bay? The Mets look like they’re

A few extras from Trembley

I just realized that I don’t own a snow shovel or a broom. This isn’t good. I did stock up on food, and I have a bottle of Grey Goose in the freezer. I’m not totally unprepared. I wonder if the neighbors will laugh at me if I take a mop outside to knock the snow off my car. Or whether they’ll laugh when I’m

Getting warm by the hot stove

So is it true that snow’s in the forecast today? Last night’s Hot Stove Show on 105.7 The Fan and ESPN 1300 sparked an interesting discussion regarding Jeremy Guthrie’s slotting for next season. With Kevin Millwood sitting atop the rotation, the natural assumption has been that Guthrie will slide down to No. 2. But as host Jim Hunter pointed out, the Orioles could lower Guthrie

Trembley chimes in

Orioles manager Dave Trembley spoke to reporters via a conference call after Mike Gonzalez left the room. Gonzalez should have stuck around. Trembley had plenty of good things to say about him. “I’m glad we have him. Thrilled,” Trembley said. “I talked to him earlier today. He has experience, he’s pitched late in the game, he’s left-handed. More importantly, he’s excited to be with us.

More Gonzo

Reliever Mike Gonzalez said the Orioles were “definitely on his radar” when the free-agent market opened for business. “Just seeing the talent alone that these guys had,” he said. “Sometimes, they get a little overshadowed just because of the other teams - the Yankees and the Red Sox - but this is a good ballclub. And these guys are only going to get better. “I’d

Gonzalez: Meet the press

The first thing I learned about reliever Mike Gonzalez today is he’s obviously done his homework on the Orioles. “Looking at the lineup, seeing the core, these guys are not just young, but very talented guys,” he said. “You look at the defense. I’ve got a great middle defense up in the front, the middle infield and the outfield. As a pitcher, that’s what you

Gonzalez official

It isn’t breaking news, but reliever Mike Gonzalez passed his physical and will meet with reporters at the Warehouse at 4:00 p.m. He’ll fly out of Baltimore a few hours later, and we’ll wait for Garrett Atkins’ arrival. I’ll post Gonzalez’s comments before heading to the station for the Hot Stove Show.

On today’s agenda

The Mike Gonzalez signing will become official later today, assuming there are no issues with his physical. I expect to be meeting him at the warehouse this afternoon. It still appears that we’ll have to wait on Garrett Atkins until early next week. Shameless plug alert: The Hot Stove Show is back on 105.7 The Fan beginning tonight at 8 p.m. (no MASN). We’ll hear

B-Rob on the trades and his Holliday wish

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has played on the same team as new closer Mike Gonzalez, but that was eight years ago in the Arizona Fall League. “We’re going to come full circle after a long while,” Roberts said earlier today during his weekly call-in segment on the Scott Garceau and Anita Marks Show on MASN and 105.7 The Fan. “I’m excited. I think any

More on the Orioles

The club isn’t going to confirm the Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins signings until both players pass their physicals. Technically, they’re still not Orioles property. The Orioles are in the process of arranging for Gonzalez to report to Camden Yards tomorrow, but Atkins is more likely to arrive early next week. Gonzalez moved to the top of the Orioles’ wish list because the system is

A few things

The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports that Garrett Atkins’ one-year deal with the Orioles guarantees him $4.5 million (including a $500,000 buyout) and includes an $8.5 million club option for 2011. Atkins also can make an addtional $500,000 in plate appearance bonuses. All that’s left is for Atkins to pass his physical and the Orioles to make the deal official by admitting to it. I’m

About last night...

If you missed it last night, you woke up to some pretty exciting news. Rodrigo Lopez signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Also, the Orioles reached agreement with closer Mike Gonzalez and corner infielder Garrett Atkins. These things can happen quickly - and while you’re wearing a coat a tie and filling a small plate with appetizers. But I did find it

Meanwhile, in the news...(updated)

So a funny thing happened while I was attending a holiday party at the warehouse - about 15 people just rushed over to tell me that reliever Mike Gonzalez apparently has agreed to a two-year deal with the Orioles. I haven’t gotten confirmation from a team official, but enough people are talking about it - especially The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec - that we’ll assume it’s

Quick FanFest update

As I was heading out the door, the Orioles confirmed that FanFest 2010 will take place on Jan. 23 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in. The event will be held from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. with early entry for season plan holders beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for

Another blockbuster trade on the horizon?

I read a report today that says the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. I also read a report that says the two sides aren’t talking. I read a report today that says the Mets are offering a five-year deal to free-agent outfielder Jason Bay. I also read a report that says the Mets haven’t offered more than four years. Again, welcome

Debating Guthrie’s role

The news that evangelist Oral Roberts died yesterday from complications of pneumonia reminded me of how, as a kid, I’d see “Oral Roberts” listed in TV Guide and think it was “Orioles Report.” I’d be all bummed out because we didn’t get that station and I was missing all the news and highlights about my favorite team. What a loser. Earlier this week on SIRIUS

Chapman update

John Stockstill, the Orioles’ director of international scouting, is flying back to Baltimore tonight after watching Aroldis Chapman’s bullpen session earlier today in Houston and also meeting with the Cuban left-hander’s representatives. Stockstill estimated that Chapman threw 75 pitches, with representatives for 20-25 clubs in attendance. “It was not really set up for evaluations,” Stockstill said. “They wanted to let everybody see that he’s healthy.

MacPhail named to committee

Major League Baseball announced earlier today that commissioner Bud Selig has formed a special committee of baseball managers, general managers, presidents and owners to “review and examine all on-field related issues.” Included in the group is Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. Also included are managers Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Joe Torre; executives Terry Ryan, John Schuerholz, and Mark Shapiro;

Suggestions for replacing Buck

Buck Martinez’s departure from MASN has left an empty seat in the broadcast booth for about half the games on the Orioles’ 2010 schedule, and the network could choose to go in a few directions. Former pitcher/pitching coach/team executive Mike Flanagan is one possibility. The network also could promote from within and expand the role of Dave Johnson, who’s part of 105.7 The Fan’s pre-

Brian’s song

OK, let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Brian Matusz confirmed that he’ll wear No. 17 next season if the Orioles follow through on his request. “I asked for Aubrey Huff’s number last year when he got traded,” Matusz told me last night after we decided to stop playing phone tag. “I said, ‘Would you mind if I took over 17?’ And he

Three’s company

The much-anticipated, overly tweeted, three-way deal that would shift Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to new teams appears to be a reality. Once the medical records are reviewed and physicals are taken, we should get the official announcement. You may celebrate Halladay’s departure from the American League. He was a royal pain to the Orioles, going 20-4 with a 2.89 ERA in his career. Let

Confirmation on Capps

The Orioles have expressed interest in free-agent closer Matt Capps, who was non-tendered by the Pirates over the weekend. Agent Paul Kinzer expects to talk to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail later today or tomorrow. The amount of interest hasn’t been determined. Maybe they’re just kicking the tires. Or perhaps Capps will be given serious consideration. It’s difficult to know at this early stage

Stop, Luke and listen - Part II

Orioles outfielder/designated hitter Luke Scott - or maybe it should be the other way around, and I don’t mean Scott Luke - labeled the Kevin Millwood acquisition at the Winter Meetings as being a “great trade, if you ask me.” I did. Scott also posed his own question. Then he answered it. “Does it fix our problems? No.” He’s a virtual one-man interview. “We need

Stop, Luke and listen

The Orioles will be announcing a new field coach at Triple-A Norfolk. Dallas Williams isn’t returning in 2010. Luke Scott was tendered a contract yesterday, as expected, and he’ll likely reach an agreement with the Orioles in January. That’s how it played out last winter. He’s not guaranteed a roster spot, however. Scott knows he’s a trade chip for the Orioles, though president of baseball

No closer to a decision on a closer

Since the Orioles don’t appear to be in any hurry to sign a closer, we can debate the merits of another one that hit the market yesterday, right-hander Matt Capps, who was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Capps has accumulated 66 saves over the past three seasons on bad teams. His ERA was 2.08 and 3.02 in the two previous seasons before jumping to 5.80

Brian Bass non-tendered

The Orioles have tendered contracts to their last two arbitration-eligible players, pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and outfielder/designated hitter Luke Scott. Guthrie and Scott can agree to terms or counter with their own proposals. If the two sides can’t get a deal done, they’ll go to arbitration later this winter. Neither negotiation figures to reach that point. The Orioles have non-tendered reliever Brian Bass, making him a

Two down

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail just confirmed that relievers Matt Albers and Cla Meredith have agreed to terms, leaving Jeremy Guthrie and Luke Scott as the only arbitration-eligible Orioles without contract offers before the midnight deadline. Shouldn’t be much drama there. MacPhail could still choose to non-tender a few players who aren’t eligible for arbitration. There’s been some speculation in the past about Brian

The Atkins diet

MLB.com is reporting that the Colorado Rockies thinned their roster (see what I did there?) by non-tendering third baseman Garrett Atkins, a move that had been anticipated for months Atkins, who made $7.05 million this season, was offered a multi-year deal two years ago. He should have taken it. Now he’s a free agent and anyone can sign him. The Orioles have some interest and

A little housekeeping

Before we move on from the winter meetings, let’s take a look back. Try not to get misty. DECEMBER 7 Atlanta Braves - Designated OF Ryan Church for assignment. Colorado Rockies - Released OF Matt Murton. Detroit Tigers - Acquired a player to be named later for LHP Clay Rapada. Milwaukee Brewers - Signed C Gregg Zaun to a one-year contract. Claimed INF Luis Cruz

A Marquis pitcher on the market

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told reporters before leaving Indianapolis that he’d still like to add another pitcher despite the trade for Kevin Millwood. The Orioles, he reminded us, are in the pitching business. A recently published report includes the Orioles among the teams interested in veteran right-hander Jason Marquis, but they’re more likely to sign a pitcher who’s coming off injury to an

Leaving Indy

I arrived at my gate at 5:30 a.m. for the flight home. Time once again to question why I didn’t go to medical school. The guy working security kept struggling to pronounce my first name as he studied my drivers license. I finally assisted him after wondering why it mattered. I’ll naturally be away from the laptop for a large chunk of the morning, but

Getting to third base

As I walked through the lobby of the Westin around noon today, I saw president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and other team personnel gathering for the drive to the airport and their trip back to Baltimore. I was tempted to ask whether MASNsports.com could shoot video of him going through security, but I figured he needed a break from us. MacPhail believes in letting

And so it ends (almost)...

It feels like I just got here. The 2009 Winter Meetings are drawing to a close. That 5 p.m. Southwest flight back to Baltimore will be packed. Unfortunately, I’m not on it. Roch and ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick recap the 2009 Winter Meetings Maybe it’s just paranoia, or bad planning, but I’m staying here in case something breaks late. It’s not expected, but I’m always reminded

MacPhail talks about the Rule 5

Seventeen players were selected in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Most Orioles fans only care about one. Pitcher Steve Johnson, acquired with third baseman Josh Bell from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the George Sherrill trade, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the 23rd pick in the first round. “We knew it was a possibility,” said Andy MacPhail, president

More minor picks

The Orioles lost another player in the Triple-A phase of the draft. The San Francisco Giants selected pitcher Jake Stevens from Double-A Bowie’s roster. Keep in mind that these players don’t have to stay on the major league roster. That’s what distinguishes the minor league phase from the major league phase. Stevens will be placed on the Giants’ Triple-A roster. The Orioles declined to take

More on Johnson

The Orioles gambled that Steve Johnson, the son of former Orioles pitcher and current 105.7 broadcaster Dave Johnson, would slip through the Rule 5 draft because he isn’t a power arm. Wrong. To me, it wasn’t necessary to protect infielder Pedro Florimon. He’s a definite prospect, but it’s hard to imagine a team trying to stash him on it’s 25-man roster all season. Keep in

More Rule 5

The San Francisco Giants used the 23rd pick to take pitcher Steve Johnson from the Orioles. More on that later. This won’t be well-received in Baltimore.

Rule 5 results

The Orioles used the third pick in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft to select left-hander Benjamin Snyder from the San Francisco Giants’ system, who will be flipped to the Texas Rangers as the PTBNL in the Kevin Millwood trade. That’s why you were advised not to get too attached to him. More to come.

Getting caught in the draft

The Rule 5 draft is about one hour away, and you can feel the electricity in the air. Actually, that’s just static from the carpet. More than a few reporters here wonder why the draft isn’t conducted online. Do we really need to gather in a conference room and listen to team reps bark out names or pass on their selections? This one’s taking place

More from MacPhail (w/ more video)

On not making an injured pitcher the first acquisition: “I don’t think the first move we could make to improve our rotation would be somebody that really had some medical concerns and took a higher than customary risk on the medicals. You needed somebody that you felt was going to be pretty solid and provide you that base of innings. Now, we have some latitude

Millwood’s Place

Pitcher Kevin Millwood heard the rumors about a pending trade to the Orioles. He wasn’t exactly blindsided by the news. “I’m a little surprised,” he said. “I can say that, but it wasn’t a total shock.” Winter Meetings Audio: Kevin Millwood calls in to talk about being traded to the O’s It became a reality late this afternoon, as reporters gathered at an elevator that

Random quotes (w/ Trembley video)

Andy MacPhail on how the trade unfolded: “This is something we were aware of a couple days before we got here. We got some prep work done, and the more we looked at it, the more we liked it. We went through give and take with names for really a couple days. There were names going back and forth to try to work this out.

Quick hits (with video added)

I’ll send along transcription later from interviews with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, manager Dave Trembley and newly acquired pitcher Kevin Millwood. But first... * MacPhail said Millwood wasn’t on the club’s original “target sheet,” but talks heated up in frigid Indianapolis. Andy MacPhail talks with Roch Kubatko about the Kevin Millwood trade * The Orioles are still interested in adding a few more

PTBNL included

Along with Chris Ray, the Orioles also will send an undisclosed player to the Rangers for pitcher Kevin Millwood. It will not be a significant player off the major league roster or from the farm system.

One reason for delay

Multiple sources are reporting that free-agent pitcher Rich Harden is on the verge of signing with the Texas Rangers. This could explain why we’re still awaiting official word on the Kevin Millwood deal, beyond the exchange of medical records. I noted yesterday that the Rangers wanted to obtain another pitcher before relinquishing Millwood, with Harden being a prime candidate. This makes sense. The media’s 6

Killing time before meeting with MacPhail

I asked one of the Texas baseball writers, a veteran scribe, if Kevin Millwood is a good guy. “No,” he replied. “He’s a great guy. Maybe my all-time favorite. Definitely in the top three.” MASN’s Buck Martinez mentioned yesterday that Millwood is the type who will sit down with the young pitchers and counsel them. He gave the right-hander strong reviews. Now go out there

Boras on Millwood

Agent Scott Boras drew the usual crowd of reporters today for his annual winter meetings session, meaning he was completely surrounded and anyone stuck in the back needed to read his lips. And you get to know the person in front and behind you real fast. I might be legally married to a Seattle photographer in five states. Boras represents pitcher Kevin Millwood, who reportedly

Debating the deal

I know we have plenty of anti-Kevin Millwood fans reading this blog, but you wanted the Orioles to accomplish something at these meetings, and obtaining a frontline starter qualifies. Millwood went 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA last year. He’s made at least 29 starts in 10 of his 12 full seasons. He’s topped 200 innings five times and logged 198 2/3 this summer. And while

How many starters will be added?

If the Orioles can nail down this Kevin Millwood trade, which The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec learned earlier today might involve reliever Chris Ray, they still could be in the market for another starting pitcher. Don’t assume that the Orioles would immediately lose interest in Erik Bedard if they acquire Millwood. They still like him and could continue negotiations, though that might become more clear later

Just thinking out loud

Trading for Kevin Millwood would give the Orioles a top-of-the-rotation starter for 2010. But for how long? If you’re pondering which pitching prospect (say that three times fast) should be sent to Texas in the deal, you must also consider that the Orioles could flip Millwood to another team at the non-waiver trade deadline, making him a half-year rental. The hope, of course, is he

Another morning in Indy

Two days down, 1 ½ to go. The annual managers luncheon takes place at noon. None of the conversation is on the record - notepads are left in back pockets, tape recorders are turned off - but it can provide insight into potential moves down the road. You also learn everybody’s favorite salad dressing, but it’s not worth reporting. At least one team official is

MacPhail on third base

The Orioles’ brass made their first road trip during these meetings, heading over to the downtown Marriott tonight after previously hosting agents and team executives in their suite at the Westin. I’m assuming they wore the gray jerseys with “Baltimore” stitched across the chest. The group consisted of president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, director of baseball operations Matt Klentak, director of professional scouting Lee

More MacPhail

The Orioles retain interest in Texas Rangers pitcher Kevin Millwood as they seek a No. 1 starter to anchor a young staff. But it seems pretty clear that they’re not close to finalizing a deal unless something changes overnight. We didn’t dig up much news from Andy MacPhail’s media session beyond the confirmed meetings with agents that I wrote about in my previous entry. If

Meeting with MacPhail - II (w/ video)

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed tonight that he met with the SFX group, which represents former Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard. MacPhail hasn’t seen the medical reports on Bedard, but the club seems confident that he’ll be available soon enough after undergoing a second shoulder surgery that it’s worth holding discussions. Andy MacPhail and Roch Kubatko recap Day Two of the Winter Meetings MacPhail

Another slice of Pie

Remember when most fans in Baltimore wanted to run Felix Pie out of town? Now his name keeps popping up - much like he did during his first two months with the Orioles - in trade discussions. Bob Dutton writes, via Twitter, that the Royals are the latest team to inquire about Pie. You can read it here. Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, isn’t

As long as we’re talking about Millwood (w/ video added)

I’ve received confirmation that there’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that the Orioles offered outfielder Felix Pie to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Kevin Millwood. The two sides are talking. The Rangers want a pitching prospect and salary relief. Pie doesn’t fit into that equation, and the Orioles never put him on the table as part of a deal. No sense debating it any

Gammons will be gone

Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN after the Winter Meetings. The only explanation provided in a press release is that he decided to pursue new endeavors. As I continue to pick the brains of people close to the Rangers, it sounds like the club wants a significant prospect in return for Kevin Millwood, along with the chance to escape most of their $12 million obligation for

Nothing to see here

Not yet, anyway. I had a brief conversation with Adam Katz, who represents free-agent pitchers Rich Harden and Joel Pineiro. Those two names have been linked to the Orioles in various reports. Katz didn’t indicate that discussions have grown serious. “It’s just tire kicking at this point,” he said. “It’s just preliminary tire kicking.” Katz also represents Sammy Sosa, which is how I first met

Quick Chapman update

It’s very quick. I don’t Twitter, but I do blog from my BlackBerry. The Orioles still haven’t met with representatives for Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, but are scheduled to do so before leaving Indianapolis.

Sights and sounds from the lobby

I should stress that I’m referring to the downtown Marriott lobby. It’s pretty dead over at the Westin, which is connected by a skywalk. I just got my cardio in by making the trip back and forth. It doesn’t sound like the Orioles are close to finalizing a trade with the Rangers for Kevin Millwood, but that information comes from one person who spoke to

The madness continues

I’d be amused if I wasn’t so tired. It’s officially Day 2 of baseball’s Winter Meetings, and I counted five laptops already set up in the media workroom by 8 a.m. I would have ridiculed the reporters who arrived that early, but I was sitting inside the media workroom at 8 a.m. People who live in glass houses... The rumor mill keeps churning, and the

The Closer

Atlanta Braves reliever Rafael Soriano has reportedly accepted arbitration, denying him free-agent status and leaving his employer scrambling to trade him. Had Soriano chosen to decline it, the Braves would have received a draft pick due to his Type A status. The Orioles would have surrendered a second-rounder if they signed him. The Braves can’t trade him before June 15 unless he gives written permission,

A few more notes

The Orioles maintain interest in first baseman Carlos Delgado, who is expected to begin playing in Puerto Rico later this week. And they also are keeping an open dialogue with Sam Levinson, who represents third baseman Pedro Feliz. If the Orioles lose a player in the Rule 5 draft, it could be Double-A Bowie second baseman Miguel Abreu, who is drawing strong interest from the

Meeting with MacPhail

Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, sat down with a few team executives and player representatives today and said he had two or three meetings lined up later tonight. He isn’t close to making a deal, which means the Orioles aren’t a mystery team in the Matt Lindstrom or Edwin Jackson talks. MacPhail had a brief, informal meeting with Mark Hendrickson’s agent, Joe Urbon, but

When the going gets tough, the Trembley gets tougher

One of the heavy points of emphasis in spring training will be reducing the amount of “careless giveaways” on the bases, according to manager Dave Trembley. Players should beware if they don’t get the message. Dave Trembley on the emphasis on baserunning and how he’ll change as a manager Trembley already suggested late in the season that he’ll be more inclined to drop the hammer

Trembley talk

Outfielder Felix Pie is supposed to start playing in the Dominican next month. Asked whether he foresees Pie getting the bulk of the playing time in left field next season, with Nolan Reimold serving as the designated hitter, manager Dave Trembley hesitated before replying: “I think it’s a nice thing to be able to sort out, especially the way Pie played the second half of

Quick hits from Trembley

I’ll go more in-depth later, but I wanted to take a few seconds to review some highlights from manager Dave Trembley’s session with the media. Dave Trembley talks with Roch Kubatko from the MLB Winter Meetings - Trembley’s priorities for the team remain, in no particular order, a starting pitcher, closer, first baseman and third baseman. - He still believes the Orioles can obtain a

Let’s all go to the lobby

The small lobby area at the Marriott is packed with reporters, baseball executives and managers. The Christmas tree in the middle is taking up valuable space, and I’ve almost run into it twice. Members of the print and electronic media are constantly checking their BlackBerry’s for the latest updates and contradictions. For instance, the New York Post reported that left-hander Andy Pettitte has turned down

Chapman update

The Orioles will meet with the representatives for Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman before leaving Indianapolis. They’ve had discussions with Alan Hendricks over the past few weeks in sort of a start-over process after Chapman switched agents. The Orioles aren’t expected to sign Chapman, but they haven’t closed any doors. Here’s where it gets complicated: Owner Peter Angelos recently confirmed interest via an AP story

Heading to Cooperstown

Not me. You couldn’t pry me out of Indianapolis with a crowbar. Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey have been elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Herzog, who led the Kansas City Royals to three straight American League West titles from 1976-78 before leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1982 World Series title and the 1985 and 1987 NL

Good morning from Indy

I ran into manager Dave Trembley last night as he was coming up the escalator of the Westin hotel with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. Well, not literally. He didn’t take a charge. But it was an unexpected meeting. Trembley looks tanned and rested - and we assume he’s ready. He’s lost about 17 pounds and is looking to shed a few more. According

Koji update

Koji Uehara received permission from doctors to begin playing catch back home in Japan. Uehara is recovering from a torn tendon in his right elbow that ended his season early. It might not sound like much, but we’re still two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. Uehara told one of the Japanese reporters here that he’ll do whatever the Orioles want

And so it continues...

My Southwest flight was booked, and it seemed like most of the passengers were headed to the Winter Meetings. Andy MacPhail is already here, and Matt Klentak, John Stockstill and David Stockstill arrived today. MASNsports.com’s Phil Wood and Dan Kolko, The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck, FOXSports’ Ken Rosenthal, The Washington Post’s Dave Sheinin and USA Today’s Mel Antonen made up the media contingent.

And so it begins...

Arriving at your gate at 9:30 a.m. for an 11:45 a.m. flight isn’t recommended, but I’m a people-watcher and this is the ideal place for it. It also gives me a chance to gripe about the lousy internet service. I’ve been disconnected four times already and No. 5 is on the way. A man working security at the Southwest terminal asked if I was heading

This, that and the other

Show of hands if you “get” the title of last night’s entry - The wisdom of bringing back Moeller. Or maybe you have to be a dentist. I’m packing my laptop with all the winter meeting necessities, and I just found an old notepad that contains enough clean pages to be useful. As I was flipping through it, I discovered some questions that I had

The wisdom of bringing back Moeller

The last few weeks have been hectic and rewarding for catcher Chad Moeller. His wife, Nicole, gave birth to the couple’s third child (and second son), Cash Benjamin, on Nov. 23. And earlier today, Moeller and the Orioles reached agreement on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training. The Orioles declined Moeller’s $850,000 option so they could remove him from the

Moeller signs

As expected, catcher Chad Moeller has agreed to terms on a minor league deal that includes a spring training invite. Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, confirmed the signing, which was reported earlier today by The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec. The Orioles declined Moeller’s $850,000 option to create room on the 40-man roster, but they wanted him back. He’s regarded as the frontrunner to serve as

Rummaging through my notebook

Carlos Delgado hasn’t started playing for Gigantes de Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League. The Orioles still intend to scout him later this month unless they find another first baseman. I exchanged emails with Delgago’s agent, David Sloane, who said he won’t be making any comments regarding negotiations. Nothing personal. It’s just in his client’s best interests. Sloane, who won’t be attending the Winter

Not getting Miggy with it - Part II

It doesn’t appear that the Orioles will be making any moves prior to the Winter Meetings that begin on Monday. It’s safe to leave the house. I’m still not getting any indication that the Orioles are serious players for free agent Miguel Tejada. They’re not in a position to rule out anything at this stage, but I’m told they’re far more likely to go in

Let’s get excited, or at least try

I want to go the rest of the day without hearing Tigers Woods’ name. That’s my modest goal. I’ll sign off this subject by again pointing out that Woods turned a circus into a bigger circus by fending off the police for three days and chastising the media for starting rumors. And he’s still venting about “tabloid scrutiny,” even though at least part of the

Orioles announce 2010 Spring Training schedule

The Orioles announced their 2010 spring training schedule earlier today. Pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout on Thursday, Feb. 18. The first full-squad workout will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Orioles will hold a team workout at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday, April 4 and a workout at Tropicana Field on Monday, April 5 prior to their 2010 Opening Day game

The rumor Millwood

I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 a.m. and woke up for the last time at 6:05 a.m., so I’m trying not to bump into anything as I stumble around this blog. FOXSports reported earlier this week that the Orioles contacted the Texas Rangers regarding pitcher Kevin Millwood. Talks weren’t considered serious, according to one source. The Rangers are looking to unload Millwood’s $12 million salary

In the news...

We’re still a little over six hours from the midnight deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents, and nothing has changed with the Orioles. They’re not going to do it. “Very unlikely” is how one person described it. That’s good enough for me. I’m fully prepared to go to bed at 11:45 p.m. without having to make a mad dash for the

MacPhail talks about Krivsky’s departure

Orioles special assistant Wayne Krivsky recently became the sixth member of the organization that an opposing team requested permission to interview for a job opening, and the third to leave for a better opportunity. “I would say we must be doing something right,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. Dave Hollins accepted a scouting position with the Phillies, and Midwest crosschecker Deron Rombach was

Making no offers they can’t refuse

It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’ve already been exposed to the most disturbing sight of the day: A bus driver talking on her cell phone. Focus, lady, focus. Today is also the day that teams must decide whether to offer arbitration to their free agents, which could lead to extra draft picks if those players decline and sign elsewhere. Unless there’s been a drastic change that

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