Are the Orioles done making moves?
Maybe not. The Orioles– who held three press conference in the past week– would seem to be done adding to their team, but it doesn’t seem that way. The organization is still looking to add pitching depth, which could potentially be tapped into later in the spring if there’s an injury/trade. They also have a few guys out of options, both in the bullpen and rotation battle –such as Zach Britton– who they would lose on waivers if they don’t make the Opening Day roster.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette side-stepped the question yesterday at Nelson Cruz’s press conference in regards to whether the team would have another presser soon.
“We’ve been steadily putting our team together,” Duquette said. “We signed a couple of pitchers, which we said we were going to do, and we said we were looking for a bat in the middle of our lineup, and Nelson can fill that role. We’re always looking, but I don’t anticipate any players of this caliber soon, but we’re always looking around.”
The word on Ervin Santana still seems to be that his asking price won’t drop and the Orioles wouldn’t be interested at his current tag. He’d have to fall, like Cruz did, for that to work.
Here are the other available starting pitchers, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors: Jon Garland, Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Karstens, Jason Marquis, Jeff Niemann, Clayton Richard, Johan Santana, Joe Saunders and Barry Zito.
The Orioles were one of seven teams yesterday to watch Santana –coming off a second shoulder surgery– throw, and I doubt they’d want to revisit Jurrjens again.
They could, however, bring back Joe Saunders who they’ve had some interest in this winter, and have shown some recent interest in. Nothing is imminent there, however, and it’s unlikely Saunders –part of the Orioles 2012 playoff run– would accept anything less than a Major League deal. But it’s worth keeping an eye on and makes the most sense out of the remaining crop.
Duquette loves having pitching depth and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Orioles –who recently added pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon– add more between now and Opening Day, be it on the free agent market or internationally, with well-known international scouting director Fred Ferreira working on a few things right now. It wouldn’t be a headliner, but keep in mind it was only two springs ago that Miguel Gonzalez signed a Minor League deal out of the Mexican Winter League.