Orioles Winter Meeting Update 12/7
While the Orioles have yet to make any notable moves so far during the winter meetings, it sure isn’t from a lack of trying. The Orioles have been talking with numerous teams about trades and starting to contact the free agents that they are interested in. Here are the rumors that I have heard of and what I think about them:
- The Orioles have expressed interest in Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox want young pitching for both of them though, and the Orioles need to hang onto their young pitching. Brian Matusz was a name that was tossed around quite a bit in these discussions. Matusz has far more upside than Floyd (who is at best a #3 or #4 starter), so the Orioles should hang onto Matusz for now unless they can get a proven top of the rotation guy.
- The Orioles are interested in bringing back popular relief pitcher Koji Uehara and are in discussions with the Texas Rangers about how to do this. I’m all for this because the Orioles bullpen desperately needs depth and steady arms. Koji’s about as reliable as they come. He posted below-average numbers in Texas, but I think Uehara was never a good fit there anyway. First of all, he’s made it known that the Texas heat really gets to him. Secondly, he was a fly-ball pitcher in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors. That’s a recipe for disaster. Koji will always be prone to the long ball but if the Orioles can get him back, that would help stabilize the Orioles’ bullpen.
- The Orioles have made it known that they are not shopping Adam Jones. That being said, several teams are interested in him, including the Washington Nationals. I know I’m in the minority when I say this, but if the right package comes along, the Orioles should be willing to trade Adam. Sounds like the Orioles will need to be blown away by an offer in order to move him though.
- The Orioles confirmed that they have no interest in the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano. The Orioles are rebuilding, the last thing they need is another overpaid veteran who can’t contribute.
- The Orioles have showed interest in Carlos Lee. I actually think he’d be a good fit for the Orioles. If they take on part of his 2012 salary (he’s an FA after the 2012 season), he can probably be had for very cheap. I know that he’s overpaid, but he’s still a productive player. He could easily be swapped for prospects at the trading deadline too. If the price is as low as I think it would be, the Orioles should be all over him.
- The Orioles were in on Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey before he was traded to the Rockies. They were also in on Rockies closer Huston Street before he got swapped to the Padres. I would have liked to get Slowey because the Orioles desperately need depth in their rotation. I’ll take Kevin Slowey over Mitch Atkins and most of the back of the end rotation guys who had to make starts last year.
- The Orioles are trying to trade relief pitcher Kevin Gregg. I can almost guarantee that they won’t be able to, and even if they do, they’re going to have to pretty much all of his salary.
- The Orioles are getting a lot of calls about Jim Johnson, Robert Andino, Jeremy Guthrie, and Mark Reynolds. If the Orioles can get a nice package, I wouldn’t be opposed to moving Jim Johnson. I highly doubt Andino gets traded due to the uncertainty surrounding Brian Roberts’s health. Plus, Buck has made it known that he likes Andino. If the Orioles can get a good prospect for Guthrie, I’d be OK with moving him. He could definitely help out a good team. The Orioles really like Mark Reynolds, so unless it’s for major league pitching, I can’t see him being moved yet. The Orioles don’t really have any corner infield options other than him at this point.
- Dan Duquette has said that he expects a trade or two will be made tomorrow, and that the Orioles will be active in the Rule 5 draft. The Orioles have holes to fill, and they do have a 40 man roster spot open, so expect the Orioles to take a chance on someone in the Rule 5 draft.