Early Day 1 rumblings
A fairly slow news day around baseball so far in the first day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando. The Orioles made several offers to free agent pitchers –both starters and relievers– over the weekend and are trying to land a left-handed hitter to add to their lineup over the next couple days.
They met with Nelson Cruz’s representation, according to FOX Sports, and remain interested in the outfielder. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said last night that it was unlikely the team signs a significant free agent pitcher and it remains to be seen if they’ll make a significant move positionally. They also remain interested in Shin-Soo Choo, who will command some considerable money on the free agent market.
Given the Orioles lengthy list of holes –they’d like to upgrade the rotation, bullpen, left field and designated hitter– they’ll come up in a lot of rumors over these next few days in Orlando. They would like to add a veteran starter –Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett are two names that have come up– and a closer (John Axford and Chris Perez are among the considerations) externally to replace Jim Johnson and have also touched base with several teams on trades today. I should have more within the next hour as the media meets with Duquette.
On a side note, the Ryan Webb two-year contract is expected to be announced after his physical in Baltimore tomorrow. The reliever gives the O’s another late-inning option.
MLB also announced its Stand Up to Cancer auction this afternoon with some pretty cool items for the Orioles, including a meet-and-greet and tour with manager Buck Showalter and a school visit from Chris Davis. You can read more on that here.