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Will a new year bring a new DH?

As we begin the countdown to midnight, I’ve set up my own sobriety checkpoint. If you still believe that the Orioles will pay $20 million a year for Prince Fielder, you need to hand over your car keys. Also, the ball is dropping in Times Square, as usual, not in left field at Camden Yards. The location changes after September. One of my traditions during

The rotation, bullpen, Fielder, minor league managers and Mora

As the Orioles continue to pursue starting pitchers, with two of their targets being Taiwanese left-hander Chen Wei-Yin and free-agent lefty Joe Saunders, I wonder whether a trade is in the works. Otherwise, the Orioles might be going with a 10-man rotation. I can immediately rattle off five starters: Jeremy Guthrie, Tsuyoshi Wada, Tommy Hunter, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton. Then I’m reminded that the

Orioles still pursuing Chen Wei-Yin, interested in Saunders

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette hasn’t ended his search for starting pitching, and an industry source confirmed that the club remains interested in Taiwanese left-hander Chen Wei-Yin. Chen, 26, was 8-10 with a 2.68 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) this year for the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball League. The Orioles have scouted Chen multiple times. Unlike Yu Darvish, he doesn’t

“Curse of the Andino” ranks No. 1

As 2011 draws to a close, we’re wading in a steady stream of “favorite moment” stories and blog entries. Be sure to roll up your pant legs. I’m not a huge fan of the format because it’s cliched and formula. Every newspaper in the country falls into this trap. Reporters submit their amusing or touching anecdotes from the year in sports. Whatever happened on their

Filling out my Hall of Fame ballot

I have to submit my Hall of Fame ballot by Saturday, so it’s probably a good idea to fill it out today before I forget. I’ve been stalling because I can’t decide on Terry Mulholland. Lots of sleepless nights here. But seriously ... It’s Brad Radke and Tony Womack that keep me tossing and turning. But seriously ... The Baseball Writers’ Association of America allows

Will Jim Johnson be the closer?

We’ve known all along that Jim Johnson’s role in 2012 would be determined by the moves made over the winter. If the Orioles fortified the bullpen and were short on starters, he would join the rotation. If they signed and traded for enough starters, he would continue to be a reliever. It’s still December and the jury is still out, but Johnson looks like a

Lining up the starting nine

The Heat beat the Mavericks yesterday in a rematch of the NBA finals, which leads me to this question: The NBA season has started? We’re still waiting on baseball. I told you earlier this month that pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 18. Position players report Feb. 23, with the first full-squad workout being held the following day. Is anyone here Sarasota-bound? The

Who’s batting first for the Orioles?

I want to lead off this entry by wishing everyone the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays. Be safe if you’re traveling today. And speaking of leading off ... We don’t know who will play second base for the Orioles next season. They’re not counting on Brian Roberts, so I won’t, either. I’ve stated many times that it will be viewed as a

Duquette on Fielder: “We’re monitoring the market”

The week between Christmas and New Year’s tends to be fairly uneventful in baseball. I’d often volunteer to be on call during that stretch so the other Orioles beat writer at The Sun could relax and celebrate the holiday with his family. It was a nice gesture on the surface, but I also knew that I wouldn’t be busy. I’d have some time off without

Is Adam Jones untouchable?

For the fans who keep asking me why the Orioles didn’t trade for left-hander Gio Gonzalez and whether this is further proof that the organization isn’t interested in winning, please take a moment to consider the possibility that executive vice president Dan Duquette didn’t have enough prospects to offer. Crazy, I know, but let’s run with it. The Athletics pried right-handers Brad Peacock and A.J.

More on Baseball America’s top prospect list

Yesterday, I gave you a sneak peek at Baseball America’s list of the top 10 Orioles prospects heading into the 2012 season. Here’s the “Best Tools” portion of the report: Best Hitter for Average: Manny Machado Best Power Hitter: Aaron Baker Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Tyler Kelly Fastest Baserunner: Glynn Davis Best Athlete: Xavier Avery Best Fastball: Dylan Bundy Best Curveball: Dylan Bundy Best Slider: Mike

Baseball America names Dylan Bundy top Orioles prospect

Not that you’ll be shocked by this news, but Baseball America has selected pitcher Dylan Bundy as the No. 1 prospect in the Orioles’ organization. Bundy, the club’s top pick in the 2011 draft, receives the honor without throwing a single professional pitch. Shortstop Manny Machado is ranked No. 2 on the list, followed by infielder Jonathan Schoop, pitcher Parker Bridwell, infielder/outfielder LJ Hoes, infielder

What it means to be “in on” Fielder

Enough days have passed since the Winter Meetings that I wanted to bring up Prince Fielder’s name again. The timing just seemed right. And I was developing a twitch. I’m not going to make any guarantees regarding Fielder except that I’ll mention him again in a few weeks if he’s still on the market. You can take that one to the bank. The Orioles didn’t

Orioles make Chavez signing official

The Orioles just sent out a press release confirming that they signed outfielder Endy Chavez to a one-year deal. Chavez passed his physical after agreeing to terms over the weekend and is officially a member of the organization. Chavez, who turns 34 in February, batted .301/.323/.426 with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 83 games with the Texas Rangers this year. He’s a career

Who else should be under rotation consideration?

The Washington Nationals have announced their minor league managers, coaches and instructors. Meanwhile, the Orioles might not make their final decisions for at least another week. Quick review: Ron Johnson (Triple-A Norfolk), Gary Kendall (Double-A Bowie) and Gary Allenson (short-season Single-A Aberdeen) are expected to manage at three of the affiliates. And former major league pitching coach Rick Peterson is the heavy favorite to be

Improvements announced at Camden Yards

The changes at Camden Yards in 2012 will extend beyond the roster and front office. The Orioles have announced plans to “enhance the fan experience” at the ballpark. Here’s the press release: As part of a continued commitment to honor the proud history of the franchise, and in conjunction with efforts to improve the design aesthetic and functionality of the ballpark and the bullpen picnic

Not the Endy of the Chavez discussion

I couldn’t resist. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette wanted a left-handed hitting outfielder who could back up Adam Jones in center field and at least share left field with Nolan Reimold. He found one yesterday when Endy Chavez agreed to terms on a one-year deal, which will become official after the veteran takes his physical. Every team has a fourth outfielder and a backup

Orioles reach agreement with Endy Chavez (updated)

An industry source has confirmed that the Orioles reached agreement with free agent outfielder Endy Chavez, who would give the Orioles the left-handed hitting outfielder that executive vice president Dan Duquette made a priority during the offseason. The Chavez deal will become official once he passes a physical. Chavez, 33, will be playing for his seventh team, including the Expos/Nationals. He hit .301 in 83

Shedding more tears over the crying need for depth

By now, you’ve probably dissected yesterday’s trade between the Padres and Reds, the biggest of the offseason. And you might have banged your head against the wall a few times. The Padres shipped starter Mat Latos to the Reds for starter Edwin Volquez, first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Brad Boxberger. That’s quite a haul for the Padres, who now have Alonso

Because you asked about Aoki ...

And asked ... and asked again ... I was told by an industry source tonight that the Orioles “weren’t believed” to have placed a bid on Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki. That’s the closest I’ve come to a firm confirmation. The Brewers won the rights to negotiate with Aoki with a $2.5 million bid, according to Yasuko Yanagita of Hochi Shimbun via Twitter. Aoki’s team, the

Multi-tasking with Dan Duquette

So I’ve noticed that some fans are aggravated by the Orioles’ lack of impact moves this offseason. Very little gets past me. I understand why season ticket sales aren’t going to spike for Matt Antonelli, Taylor Teagarden, Ryan Flaherty, Dana Eveland and Tsuyoshi Wada. But also keep in mind that the Orioles are addressing their lack of depth (and, in Teagarden’s case, lack of a

A little more on minor league signings

I tweeted this earlier today, but I’ll mention it in the blog, as well. The Orioles have agreed to terms with outfielders Antoan Richardson and Lee Cruz on minor league deals. They also agreed to terms with reliever Jon Link, as they continue to seek depth for the upper levels of their minor league system. Richardson, 28, is an interesting acquisition because the Orioles drafted

Danny Haas hired as national crosschecker

So much for a slow day at Camden Yards. The Orioles just announced that they’ve hired Danny Haas as the club’s national crosschecker. Haas spent the last 10 seasons as an amateur scout in the Boston Red Sox organization. In case anyone is confused by the term “crosschecker,” here’s a handy guide. Here’s the rest of the Orioles’ press release: Haas, 35, most recently served

Changes made to scouting department (with quote)

The Orioles have brought in a new executive vice president and scouting director. It was logical to assume that more changes were coming to various departments. Dan Duquette has made a few hires and done some restructuring, and it continued yesterday. Confirming this report from FOX Sports, Duquette has reassigned pro scouts Todd Frohwirth, Jim Howard, James Keller, Ted Lekas, Lee MacPhail IV and Jim

Cleaning out my notebook

New Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada says one of the biggest differences between baseball in Japan and the U.S. is that the game is “more power generated” here. He’s referring to both the batters and the pitchers. He’s not going to blow the ball past anyone, but it sounds like he’s a left-handed version of Koji Uehara - excellent control and a wide assortment of pitches.

More from Duquette

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette took more questions from reporters after today’s press conference to introduce Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada. I say he “took” them. That doesn’t mean he answered all of them. Like many baseball executives, Duquette won’t show his hand and let the rest of the world know which players he’s pursuing. He isn’t going to offer specifics on trade talks or

Hearing from Duquette and Wada

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of today’s press conference occurred near the beginning, when Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada gave his opening remarks in English. You had to appreciate the effort. “My name is Tsuyoshi Wada,” he said. “I’m from Shimane, Japan. I played for Fukoka SoftBank Hawks. I would like to thank you, Baltimore Orioles organization to give me this opportunity. I was dreaming to

Wada day at Camden Yards

The Orioles will introduce Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada today at a 4 p.m. press conference at Camden Yards. Here’s the first thing you need to know: His name is pronounced “sue-YO-she WAH-dah” It’s probably also good to know that Wada, 30, was 107-61 with a 3.13 ERA and 1,329 strikeouts in 210 career games and 1,444 2/3 innings over nine seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank

Orioles passing on Darvish, introducing Wada Thursday (updated)

The Orioles are trying to become big players in the international market, but they won’t pursue Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The Orioles will let the 5 p.m. deadline pass today without posting a bid, leaving other teams to fight for his services. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports! has estimated that it could cost a team in the $30 million to $70 million range to win

Guthrie tunes out the trade talk

It must seem a little strange for Jeremy Guthrie to be greeted this way by so many people who approach him: “So, are you surprised that you’re still here?” It happened again yesterday at Dave and Buster’s at the Arundel Mills Mall. Reporters glided over to his table and greeted him warmly. Then it happened. Again. One guy in the group asked if Guthrie was

Duquette talks about Wada, Chong, Scott and Bergesen

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette wouldn’t confirm tonight that the Orioles have reached agreement with Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada on a two-year contract. He only spoke in general terms about the Orioles wanting to “add to our pitching staff.” “That’s what I’ve been talking about all along,” he said. “We also want to be active in all of the markets - in all the

Showalter talks about pitching

Manager Buck Showalter stays in contact with everyone on his roster throughout the winter. Each time I bring up a name, he’ll mention how he recently spoke to that individual over the phone. I’m told that he saw Alfredo Simon in the Dominican Republic over the weekend. I’m not sure if that qualifies as a random sighting, but I assumed that Simon was staying in

Notes on Wada, report dates and Roberts

I just arrived home from the OriolesREACH holiday party and am trying to get caught up on all the breaking news while also passing along a few notes from my morning excursion to the Arundel Mills Mall. (Surviving a trip to that mall is noteworthy in itself, but I’ve got more.) The Orioles have reached agreement with Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, according to several sources,

Jake Arrieta: “I’m healed up and ready to go”

Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta says he’s thrown on flat ground several times since undergoing surgery Aug. 12 to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He’s had “zero complications,” and remains ahead of schedule and optimistic about being fully recovered long before spring training. “I’m healed up and ready to go,” he said this morning at Dave and Buster’s at the Arundel Mills Mall,

Chong staying in Korea

If the Orioles are going to open the door to the Korean market, they’ll have to choose a different item from the shelves. According to a tweet from MyKBO, which I began to follow last month, pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon has decided to stay in Korea rather than come to the U.S. Chong has signed a four-year, $3.1 million contract with the Lotte Giants. The Orioles

Bergesen tendered contract, Reyes and Eyre non-tendered (updated)

The Orioles just announced that they’ve non-tendered pitchers Jo-Jo Reyes and Willie Eyre, and outfielder Luke Scott. Brad Bergesen was offered a contract shortly before the midnight deadline. Scott, Reyes and Eyre have become free agents, but they could re-sign with the Orioles. Scott is a possibility to remain in the organization. Both sides are open to working out a new contract. Reyes went 5-8

Orioles non-tender Luke Scott (updated)

As expected, the Orioles have decided not to offer a 2012 contract to outfielder Luke Scott, making him a free agent. Both sides are open to negotiating a new deal, so it’s not necessarily the end of Scott’s career as an Oriole. But he can sign with any club. Scott made $6.4 million this year, and his season was cut short because of a shoulder

Orioles approach another deadline (updated twice)

At some point today, we’ll find out whether the Orioles have tendered contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Jeremy Guthrie, Jim Johnson, Brad Bergesen and Jo-Jo Reyes, infielder Robert Andino, and outfielders Adam Jones and Luke Scott. Update: I omitted left-hander Dana Eveland, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time. Players who are non-tendered become free agents, but they can sign with their former

Quick Cespedes update

The Orioles aren’t saying much about the two days spent in the Dominican Republic this weekend to scout Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, but here’s what I’ve been able to piece together about his workouts: Cespedes showed impressive power during a batting practice session. Short-season Single-A Aberdeen right-hander Jose Mota threw about 35 balls to him so the Orioles could watch him hit live pitching. Also,

This, that and the other

So how would you like to be a Brewers fan these days? Sure, you made the playoffs, but you’ve probably lost Prince Fielder forever and you might have lost MVP Ryan Braun for the first 50 games next season. OK, it’s still not bad being a Brewers fan, but that’s got to sting. Braun reportedly learned of his failed test for PEDs back in late

Bergesen waits to learn his fate

If anyone asks which one of my blog entries has attracted the most comments, I’ll just refer back to yesterday. The total has climbed to a dizzying 592, which shatters the previous record of ... I have no idea. But I know that it’s destroyed. The Orioles must decide Monday whether to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. One name fell off the list when

A small stack of trade chips

It’s nice to begin a blog entry without typing in a dateline. There’s no place like home. I won’t lie. I feel a little dumb clicking my heels together. I didn’t shop for souvenirs in Dallas - I worried that the bottle of barbecue sauce would shatter in my luggage - but I returned to Sykesville with dirty clothes and a reminder that executive vice

For what it’s worth ...

DALLAS - This will be my final blog entry from the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, where the sun has finally come out as I prepare to climb into a cab for my ride to the airport. I was told that it’s snowing back home, but my daughter shot down that rumor via a text message. I should have brought her here. She could have saved

Duquette and Eveland discuss the trade

DALLAS - Executive vice president Dan Duquette doesn’t anticipate making any more trades before he boards a flight for Boston this afternoon. He’ll return to Baltimore over the weekend and hopes to complete a few more deals that were advanced at the Winter Meetings. Duquette didn’t make a big splash at the Hilton Anatole, unless you count the number of times he dumped cold water

Orioles acquire Eveland from Dodgers for Martin (and Henson)

DALLAS - The Orioles completed their first trade of the Winter Meetings today, acquiring left-hander Dana Eveland from the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league pitcher Jarret Martin and outfielder Tyler Henson. The Orioles designated reliever Willie Eyre for assignment to make room for Eveland on the 40-man roster. Eyre was a non-tender candidate. Eveland was 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 25 games at

Trade to be announced shortly (Eveland is involved)

DALLAS - The Rule 5 draft is over, but the Orioles remain open for business. The club is expected to announce details of a trade within the next hour. And that’s all the information I’ve got at the moment. Otherwise, I’d be more expansive. Also, we’re still waiting to learn the identity of the player to be named later in the Taylor Teagarden trade. I’ve

Orioles select infielder Flaherty in Rule 5 (updated twice)

DALLAS - As expected, the Orioles made a selection today in the Rule 5 draft. But it wasn’t a pitcher. Picking fourth, the Orioles took infielder Ryan Flaherty, 25, from the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A roster. He was a sandwich pick in 2008 out of Vanderbilt. Flaherty batted .305 with 20 doubles, two triples, 14 homers, 66 RBIs and a .907 OPS in 83 games at

Day Four in Dallas

DALLAS - And down the stretch they come ... I’m expecting a stampede to the airport today as the Winter Meetings break up. The last order of business for most teams is the Rule 5 draft - and we’ve been threatened with bodily harm here if we write Rule V - which begins at 9 a.m. Central time. The Orioles might not be finished, however.

DeMarlo Hale talks about joining the Orioles

The Orioles didn’t make any trades today, but they completed their coaching staff. That’s another item to cross off the list. The holdup involved DeMarlo Hale, who had a year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox. He was invited to remain on manager Bobby Valentine’s staff, but he wasn’t sure in what capacity. And his longstanding relationship with Orioles manager Buck Showalter swayed

Trade talks, Zumaya, Cespedes, budget, Marlins and more

DALLAS - The Orioles don’t give the outward appearance that they’re busy at the Winter Meetings. They haven’t gone to the podium, though the Marlins are boxing out everyone like Karl Malone, and they haven’t been featured in the hottest rumors unless you count the Prince Fielder stuff that is based on speculation and assumptions. But executive vice president Dan Duquette met with more executives

Duquette hoping to make one or two trades Thursday

DALLAS - Unless something drastic happens, the Orioles won’t complete any deals tonight. However, executive vice president Dan Duquette says he’s made “good progress” in trade talks today and hopes to finalize one or two after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. Duquette is staying in Dallas until late in the day, which makes me glad that I booked my flight back to Baltimore at 6:20 p.m.

Buehrle off the board, Orioles never on him (and more)

DALLAS - Another huge domino fell today when the Marlins agreed to terms with left-hander Mark Buehrle on a four-year, $58 million contract. The Orioles were in no danger of having their toes crushed. They weren’t anywhere near Buehrle. New executive vice president Dan Duquette says he won’t go more than three years for a free-agent starting pitcher. Never has, never will. I wanted the

Hale and Castro added to coaching staff (updated)

DALLAS - It’s finally official. The Orioles have hired DeMarlo Hale as their third base coach and Bill Castro as their bullpen coach. “The additions of DeMarlo Hale and Bill Castro add winning experience and diversity to our coaching staff,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a statement. The Red Sox let Hale out of his contract last night with one year remaining so

Street off the board?

That’s the word on the street. According to multiple reports, the San Diego Padres are on the verge of acquiring closer Huston Street from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named. The Padres are picking up most of Street’s $7.5 million tab. The Orioles held discussions with the Rockies regarding Street, but they’re not going to get him. Scratch another one off the

Day Three in Dallas

DALLAS - For me, this feels like the final day of the Winter Meetings. From a workload and stress standpoint, tomorrow is a breeze compared to the others. Executives, scouts, agents and reporters bail after the Rule 5 draft, which is held in the morning. Today is expected to be busy for a lot of teams, including the Orioles, who could make a trade and

There’s quite a buzz about Floyd and Quentin (and Hale update)

DALLAS - If the Orioles make a trade tomorrow, it could involve Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd or outfielder Carlos Quentin. I’m starting to like those odds, judging by everything I’m hearing tonight. Executive vice president Dan Duquette has met several times with the White Sox, and while left-hander John Danks is available, the Orioles would prefer Floyd, 28, who grew up in Severna

More from Dan Duquette

DALLAS - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette apologized to reporters today for not having more news. We were willing to take any scraps, but yes, a full meal would have been much more satisfying. Maybe we’ll feast tomorrow. I’d settle for soup, which can be a meal. “I wish I had more A stuff today,” he said. “We met with a couple more clubs,

Duquette: “We want to be .500 or better this year”

DALLAS - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has trade proposals and free-agent contract offers on the table, mostly for pitching, but he isn’t expecting a deal to be completed tonight. If an agreement is reached, it’s more likely to happen tomorrow. Duquette confirmed that he met several times with the Chicago White Sox regarding their pitching, which means Gavin Floyd and John Danks. White

Orioles re-sign Brandon Erbe

DALLAS - The Orioles have signed pitcher Brandon Erbe to a minor league contract, keeping him in the organization that drafted him out of McDonogh High School. Erbe, a third-round selection in 2005, was designated for assignment over the summer and cleared waivers. The Orioles outrighted him to short-season Single-A Aberdeen in August. He was a minor league free agent. Erbe underwent surgery to repair

Checking again on the pitching market

DALLAS - Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams told reporters today that he’s not getting suitable offers for his pitchers, so he’s inclined to hold onto them at the moment. This news impacts the Orioles, who are looking for pitching - in case you hadn’t heard - and might have made a run at Gavin Floyd or John Danks. Of course, Williams could change

No interest in Soriano

DALLAS - Just to keep the rumor mill from spinning completely out of control, I’ll try to slow it a little by passing along confirmation that the Orioles aren’t interested in Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs reportedly are trying to convince the Orioles to take Soriano and are willing to absorb most of the $54 million he’s owed. I’m told that the Orioles

The hunt for pitching (with note)

DALLAS - The Chicago White Sox and Tampa Rays have pitching to spare. The Orioles want a frontline starter to stabilize their rotation and take a little more pressure off the young arms. So how exactly are they supposed to match up? That’s the burning question here at the Hilton Anatole. As I wrote earlier, White Sox general manger Kenny Williams would move Gavin Floyd

Day Two in Dallas (updated)

DALLAS - If you’re anticipating that the Orioles will make a move today, look for it to be a trade. And expect it to involve a starter or reliever. Could Mount St. Joseph grad Gavin Floyd be in the mix? The White Sox apparently are willing to move him, and the Orioles have coveted him for years. Well, former president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail

Hearing more from Duquette

DALLAS - Rick Peterson reportedly is no longer a candidate to become Boston’s pitching coach. I mention it because Peterson interviewed last week for the Orioles’ minor league pitching coordinator job. Here are some comments from executive vice president Dan Duquette: “There were mostly trade discussions today, and some free agent discussions. But primarily trade discussions,” he said. “There seems to be more relievers in

Quick hits with Duquette

DALLAS - I’ll post quotes later, but I wanted to pass along the highlights from today’s media session with executive vice president Dan Duquette. Duquette said he met with about 12 teams today and spoke to six or seven others. He has a few more meetings scheduled for tonight. Duquette said most of the activity today centered on trade discussions, and 65 percent of it

More from Showalter

DALLAS - As of 4:30 p.m., the Orioles hadn’t met with the agent for outfielder/DH Manny Ramirez. Or should that be DH/outfielder? Anyway, the Orioles aren’t dismissing the idea of pursing Ramirez. “I don’t think we’re in a position to completely close the door on anything,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I don’t think we’re far enough along with anything to say that’s in, that’s out,

Orioles still deciding Jim Johnson’s role (and more)

DALLAS - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is meeting with the media. I’ll pass along a few notes here, and check Steve Melewski’s blog for quotes. Showalter laughed and shook his head when asked whether the Orioles signed Prince Fielder today. Maybe the results of the physical haven’t come back yet. Kidding. Showalter repeated that every team here is looking for pitching. It’s the “one common

Florimon claimed off waivers

DALLAS - The Twins claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon off waivers from the Orioles. The Orioles needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for the Rule 5 draft. Also, pitcher Pedro Viola cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Florimon, who turns 25 on Saturday, went 1-for-8 for the Orioles in 2011, making his major league debut Sept. 10 at Toronto.

Duquette confirms interest in Fielder (updated)

DALLAS - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed to MASN this morning that he’s interested in free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder. However, he warns fans not to get their hopes up. The Orioles won’t get in a bidding war for Fielder, but the market may be softening for the slugger, which would allow teams on the peripheral to become involved. That includes the Orioles

Brooks Robinson: “I think we need some new blood there”

DALLAS - I’m happy to report that legendary third baseman Brooks Robinson is here as part of baseball’s Golden Era Committee, which voted Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame, and that he’s feeling much better these days. Robinson looked frail and unsteady during the ceremony on Oct. 22 to unveil his statue outside of Camden Yards. He’s had a litany of health issues, and

Santo elected into Hall of Fame

DALLAS - Major League Baseball’s Golden Era Committee has voted Cubs legend Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame. Santo needed 12 votes to earn 75 percent. He received 15 of the 16. It’s unfortunate that Santo isn’t alive to enjoy it. He passed away Dec. 3, 2010. The Committee got it right. Just a year too late. Jim Kaat received 10 votes. Gil Hodges

Day One in Dallas

DALLAS - That’s technically correct. Yesterday wasn’t supposed to count. The Winter Meetings officially begin today. So why am I so tired already? Maybe it’s from having to change rooms when I returned to my hotel around midnight. The temperature inside had reached 100 degrees, according to a maintenance guy who used some sort of infra-red light, pointed toward the ceiling vent, to determine that

Is Duquette interested in Manny Ramirez?

DALLAS - As soon as news broke earlier today that outfielder Manny Ramirez had applied for reinstatement, everyone here pretty much held the same thought: Would Dan Duquette try to sign him again? Duquette gave Ramirez an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Red Sox back in December 2000. Ramirez could be secured at a much lower rate this winter, and the Orioles are looking

Dan Duquette: “We’re putting the band back together”

DALLAS - The Winter Meetings haven’t officially started, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette already has met with a few teams and introduced his two latest front office hires to the media. Duquette is looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder who can back up Adam Jones in center and maybe platoon in left. He also wants to “support” the pitching staff and improve the

Thomas and Ferreira added to Orioles’ front office

DALLAS - The Orioles confirmed today that they’ve hired former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as a special assistant to executive vice president Dan Duquette, and Fred Ferreiera as executive director of international recruiting. Thomas, 75, built the 1993 Phillies team that won the National League pennant - winning Executive of the Year honors that year - but Ed Wade replaced him as GM after

Everything’s bigger in Texas (updated)

The above phrase includes all the rumors that will surface at the Winter Meetings. I’m sitting at my American Airlines gate, waiting to board my 7:05 a.m. flight to Dallas. I’m stuck in a middle seat. We’re off to a good start. I chose an airline that also filed for bankruptcy, but it’s promised to honor all flights. I’ll have to serve peanuts and push

Ferreira and Blakeley among possible front office hires

I’m hearing that the Orioles could announce more hires in the front office tomorrow, one day before baseball’s Winter Meetings begin in Dallas. The restructuring continues, just as Dan Duquette promised after being hired as executive vice president of baseball operations. According to multiple reports, the Orioles have hired former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as an assistant to Duquette. A deal apparently was reached

Giving up pitching for pitching?

Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie might be the Orioles’ biggest bargaining chip this winter. Adam Jones rivals him in that category, but executive vice president Dan Duquette seems intent on holding onto the center fielder and perhaps opening dialogue on a contract extension after the holidays. The Orioles want to acquire a starting pitcher, and they figure that a trade is the best method. But does it

This, that and the other (and more)

I wonder whether the Orioles will announce Lee Thomas’ hiring as assistant general manager, or whatever title they’ll give him, or make us wait until everyone is in place, including scouts and the minor league managers and coaches. My assumption is they’ll announce Thomas sooner, since they already confirmed Gary Rajsich as director of amateur scouting. Executive vice president Dan Duquette declined comment on Thomas

Rick Peterson interviews for minor league job

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette had a busy day today. He completed a trade with the Texas Rangers for backup catcher Taylor Teagarden. He reportedly hired former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as his assistant. And he interviewed a batch of candidates for the minor league pitching coordinator position that Alan Dunn vacated in June. One of the candidates is former Athletics, Mets

Hearing from Duquette and Teagarden

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette declined comment on reports that he’s hired former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as a special assistant, but he had plenty to say about new catcher Taylor Teagarden. “Taylor will be 28 at the end of December and he’s an established and accomplished major league catcher,” Duquette said during a conference call with reporters. “He has an excellent ability

Some FanFest information and new front office hire

I’ll start with the front office. According to multiple reports. the Orioles have hired former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as an assistant to executive vice president Dan Duquette. I’ll get confirmation at 5 p.m., when Duquette and new catcher Taylor Teagarden will be made available to reporters on a conference call. As for FanFest, the Orioles have scheduled the annual event for Jan. 21

Pedro Viola removed from 40-man roster

The Orioles have designated left-handed reliever Pedro Viola for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for new catcher Taylor Teagarden. The Orioles made the trade official by sending out a press release a few minutes ago. The Rangers acquired minor league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named in exchange for Teagarden. Teagarden, who turns 28 on Dec. 21, has appeared

Orioles acquire Teagarden

I just returned home from today’s video chat with Steve Melewski at the MASNsports.com Web studio, and I wanted to pass along a quick update on the Orioles’ catching situation. The Orioles are on the verge of trading for a backup, and it appears to be Taylor Teagarden, a former third-round pick of the Texas Rangers who’s a career .220 hitter in parts of four

Corner infielders aren’t on Duquette’s shopping list

The Winter Meetings begin Monday in Dallas, and the common perception among reporters is that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is more likely to swing a trade or two than sign a free agent. “Well, I hope we do both,” Duquette said yesterday. “I hope we can make some trades to help our team, and then also sign some free agent players to help

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