Another day brings the latest set of important events in baseball.
The GM/owners meetings begin today in Orlando. There won’t be a flood of trades and signings during these three days, but the groundwork is often laid for further discussions at next month’s Winter Meetings in Orlando.
Players tendered qualifying offers must decide today whether to accept or decline. The Orioles aren’t impacted here, since none of their eligible free agents were given offers.
The Sporting News Executive of the Year will be announced today. Oakland’s Billy Beane won it for the second time last year. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington must like his chances this year.
The BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year will be announced tonight on MLB Network. The finalists are Chris Archer (Tampa Bay), Jose Iglesias (Detroit) and Wil Myers (Tampa Bay) in the American League, and Jose Fernandez (Miami), Shelby Miller (St. Louis) and Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles) in the National League.
I’m predicting that Myers and Fernandez take home the hardware.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado wasn’t a rookie this season. Kevin Gausman still qualifies next season.
The Orioles may confirm the hiring of Dom Chiti as bullpen coach, which was reported here on Friday.
With the Orioles in the market for another starting pitcher to slot behind Chris Tillman, I’ve been asked whether free agents Tim Hudson and Scott Kazmir are on their radar.
Yes and no.
I’ve heard that the Orioles are intrigued by Hudson, 38, and have discussed him internally. He’s viewed as the type of pitcher that they’re looking for, someone with a winning background who could give them innings.
Hudson has spent the past nine seasons in Atlanta. The Orioles hired Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace as their pitching coach. Chiti was a special assistant to Braves general manager Frank Wren.
How’s that for connections?
Hudson is 205-111 with a 3.44 ERA in 15 major league seasons. He’s 10-2 with a 2.68 ERA and two complete games in 12 career starts against the Orioles, which doesn’t mean much, since he wouldn’t be facing them. But there it is anyway.
Also, Hudson is 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA in five career starts at Camden Yards. He’s 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA in five starts at Tropicana Field, 5-3 with a 4.71 ERA in nine starts at Rogers Centre and 1-5 with an 8.49 ERA in six starts at Fenway Park.
Before you rush out to purchase a jersey, at least 10 teams reportedly have reached out to Hudson, who made $9 million in each of the last three seasons. Will the Orioles stay in the running if multi-year offers are dangled in front of him? We’ll see.
There also are some concerns about Hudson’s ankle, which he fractured in July. He had the pin removed on Thursday and should be cleared to begin running in a few weeks. The Orioles will keep close tabs on him.
So, yes, there does appear to be interest in Hudson and it’s worth monitoring and debating.
As for Kazmir, who turns 30 in January, he shocked the world by winning 10 games and posting a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts for the Indians this season. He was a finalist for the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award that went to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
From what I’ve heard, the Orioles aren’t likely to pursue him. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of interest.
Kazmir has pitched 200 innings once in his career, back in 2007 with the Devil Rays (their nickname changed the following season.) He averaged fewer than six innings per start this year. Not the workhorse that the Orioles need for their rotation.
MLBTradeRumors predicted that Kazmir will sign a two-year, $16 million contract. It won’t be with the Orioles.