Monday, January 31, 2011

Orioles Get Their Duchs In A Row | Baseball Digest

Orioles Get Their Duchs In A Row | Baseball Digest

The off-season has not been kind to the Baltimore Orioles for a number of years. Over the last decade the team has finished last or next to last in the AL East the majority of the time. Major free agents haven’t wanted to sign with the Orioles and the team hasn’t been able to swing a significant trade. Prior to last season the Orioles re-acquired Miguel Tejada and signed free agent Garrett Atkins. Needless to say, no one in the “Town of the Big House” was bragging about those moves.

The highly respected Andy MacPhail was hired as president of baseball operations in mid-2007, but the going has been slow, though it is no fault of MacPhail’s. The grandson of Larry MacPhail and the son of Lee MacPhail, both in the Hall of Fame, has been trying to shake things up this hot stove season. The team has an offer out to Vladimir Guerrero and has been working hard to bring him into the fold. Earlier today they agreed to a deal with free agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick the deal will pay $750K even if Duchscherer never makes it to a major league mound. He’ll get $1.1M if he’s on the opening day roster and can earn up to $4.5M based on incentives.

This off-season the O’s also acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy and signed free 1st baseman Derek Lee to hopefully add some pop to the lineup and inked free agent pitcher Kevin Gregg in an attempt to strengthen their pen. All of the above aren’t “A-listers” at this point, but the Orioles stand to be at least a bit more competitive. Unfortunately, the AL East is not for the weak of roster.

Rumors, News, and Transactions

The Rangers signed pitcher David Bush (56-68, 4.66) to a minor league deal after the free agent played five seasons in Milwaukee.

One time feared slugger Troy Glaus hasn’t been able to find a situation he finds suitable so he’s decided to sit out the start of the season. There’s a strong possibility he may permanently retire.

The Orioles have added free agent left-hander Mark Hendrickson with a minor league deal. The 6’9″ southpaw pitched the last two seasons for the O’s.

Jason Grilli is attempting a comeback with the Phillies after signing a minor league deal. He missed all of the 2010 season due to a knee injury.

Pitcher Braden Looper signed a minor league deal with the Cubs that will give him a chance to earn up to $3M if he makes the big club.

The Rockies gave reliever Rafael Betancourt a one year, $3M extension.

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