O’s MacPhail: “no shortage” of activity
Fresh off this week’s general manager meetings, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the organization’s wants and needs haven’t changed and called the two-day meetings “helpful on a few different levels” in assessing what Baltimore will do this offseason.
“People have different timetables, but we don’t necessarily control those,” MacPhail said when asked when the Orioles first move may come. “We’ve had the discussions that we needed to have.”
While he declined to name specifics, MacPhail said there was “no shortage of activity” in Orlando, Fla., both on the trade market and in conversations the organization had with free agents on its wish list.
Tops on that list is a corner infield power bat, making players like Adrian Beltre, Paul Konerko, Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn attractive, as well as Carlos Pena and Adam LaRoche.
The Orioles would also like to add a veteran starter and a few bullpen arms and, although they have money to spend -with only Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Michael Gonzalez and Brian Matusz owed money next season — their wealth of young pitching makes for an attractive trade partner.
As for the criticism that the Orioles are moving too deliberately while other teams wheel and deal, MacPhail -who hasn’t been “too surprised” by any of the early trades — makes no apologies for how he conducts offseason business.
“What’s important at the end of the day is that the moves are the ones that help the club,” he said. “Whether they move fast or slow is less impactful than whether they are right.”
The Orioles, who lost seven players to free agency this winter, continue to have discussions with the respective agents of right-hander Koji Uehara and infielders Ty Wigginton and Cesar Izturis about a possible return to Baltimore. Whether that happens with Uehara and Wigginton could come down to a matter of contract length, with Wigginton and Izturis’ fate in Baltimore tied to what specific bat(s) the Orioles bring in.
While the organization expressed initial interest in Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, it’s doubtful they get involved in the bidding and even less likely that they win exclusive negotiating rights. While Izturis left a hole at shortstop, the Orioles aren’t too keen on what the asking price of Nishioka will amount to and would prefer to spend their money elsewhere.