Orioles Notes: Morales, Free Agents, Hardy

The rumor mill is slowly beginning to turn again with the end of what MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko calls "baseball's dead zone" — the period of general inactivity between Christmas and New Year's Day. For Orioles fans, that means a return to clamoring for the club to make some impactful additions to its roster. (Baltimore's most expensive addition to date has been reliever Ryan Webb, who was non-tendered by the Marlins.) But, as Kubatko notes, there are a good number of high-quality players still available on the open market, many of whom have been linked to the O's in some manner. Here's more from the O's:

  • The Orioles could be a legitimate landing spot for Kendrys Morales, Kubatko suggests. Baltimore is not concerned with his fielding, and is less hesitant to give up a draft pick than in years past, according to Kubatko.
  • One other avenue for landing a bat, of course, is via trade. Kubatko says he has heard "rumblings" that executive VP Dan Duquette is working on a deal that could be nearing the stage of reviewing medicals.
  • The O's have not made a sizeable free agent investment to date, though the club figures to be in on several remaining players, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Morales, a starter such as Bronson Arroyo or A.J. Burnett, or a closer like Fernando Rodney remain realistic possibilities to land in Baltimore. Yet it remains fairly likely that the club will not ultimately add any of the better players left on the open market, Connolly opines. 
  • Otherwise, Duquette could focus on addressing the team's own players. J.J. Hardy is the most likely current player to land an extension in Connolly's estimation. 

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