Results tagged ‘ Andy MacPhail ’

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.

–Brittany Ghiroli

Roundup: A’s kick off int’l signing with 3B

The international signing period began Friday, 29 days before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and the Athletics were the first to make an imprint by signing Venezuelan third baseman Renato Nunez to a $2.2 million contract, according to Baseball America.

Nunez, 16, was deemed the top hitter available out of Venezuela this year by several international scouts, Baseball America wrote. The international signing period is for players born outside of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and are thus ineligible for the First-Year Player Draft. Players must be 16 years old when they sign and turn 17 by either Sept. 1 or the end of their first pro season, whichever comes later. 
Here’s more from around the league … 
* With Chase Utley out about eight weeks after surgery on his right thumb, the Phillies suddenly need help at second base. And though assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a situation where we have to go get somebody,” names like Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada and Kelly Johnson have been mentioned. The Orioles recently promoted third baseman Josh Bell, which could make Wigginton and Tejada available. But O’s president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli that’s not necessarily the case
* Because he’s a free agent after this season, he’ll come rather affordable at a pro-rated share of $8 million, the Mariners are currently not in contention and, well, he has a track record for making an impact on a new team after the Trade Deadline (see: 2009 Phillies), Cliff Lee will likely be the most sought-after player this month. But a source with knowledge of Seattle’s thinking told The New York Daily News the Mariners have not yet made Lee available. A host of teams — most notably the Mets and Dodgers — will undoubtedly be interested when he is. 
* Lee is Plan A for many teams seeking starting pitching, and Roy Oswalt may be Plan B. But Oswalt — making $15 million this season, $16 million next season and with a full no-trade clause in his contract — will be more difficult to acquire. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart wrote recently that the Astros would be willing to pay a portion of Oswalt’s remaining salary if they get premier prospects in return. 
* The Giants traded Bengie Molina to the Rangers on Thursday. And according to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, that deal could open the door for San Francisco to add a badly needed productive hitter, particularly a corner infielder. 
* The Pirates and Blue Jays, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, are bidding on Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia. A source told the Post-Gazette the Blue Jays offered the 15-year-old right-hander $2.8 million, while the Pirates offered $2.5 million. Heredia can’t sign until Aug. 16, when he turns 16. 

Alden Gonzalez
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