Odds & Ends: Orioles, V-Mart, Buck, Nationals

We at MLBTR send our best wishes to Ernie Tyler, the Orioles' 86-year-old umpires attendant who has worked every Opening Day in Baltimore for the last 51 years.  Tyler underwent brain surgery earlier this week to remove a benign tumor, and The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly reports that Tyler is progressing well in the early stages of his recovery.  We look forward to seeing Tyler at Camden Yards in April to extend his streak to 52 years.

Let's check out some news items from around the majors…

  • Speaking of Dan Connolly, he thinks Baltimore "will go hard after Victor Martinez and/or Derrek Lee," with Lee being the likelier candidate to sign with the Orioles.
  • ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes thinks the possibility of Martinez re-signing with the Red Sox "looks iffy at best," though three other ESPNBoston contributors predict the free agent will return to the Sox. 
  • Edes also notes that another free agent catcher, John Buck, has a big supporter in Boston assistant GM Allard Baird.
  • If the Nationals don't re-sign Adam Dunn, MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that Carlos Pena "is at the top of their list" of potential replacements.  Ladson also notes that Washington will "go after [James Loney] hard" if the Dodgers put him on the trade market, and that the Nats could also pursue an outfielder like Jayson Werth and fill their first-base opening from within with Josh Willingham.
  • Arizona assistant general manager Peter Woodfork and the D'Backs have reached a "mutual decision" to part ways, tweets FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi.  It's not an unexpected move since, as Morosi noted in a follow-up tweet, Woodfork has long-term ties to former Arizona GM Josh Byrnes and new D'Backs GM Kevin Towers probably wants to hire his own assistant.
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy has a recall-filled edition of the week's minor league transactions.
  • With Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia all anchoring the staffs of World Series contenders this postseason, Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times bemoans how the Dodgers missed out on acquiring any of the three "true aces" over the last two seasons.
  • Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered a number of Brewers topics in a chat with readers.