Chris Lambert Rumors
The Orioles have declined Melvin Mora's $8MM option for 2010, likely ending his successful tenure with Baltimore.
Mora struggled in 2009, hitting just .260/.321/.358 in 496 plate appearances this past season. He will be 38 years old, and will likely command far less than his option number as a free agent.
However, for teams looking for a third baseman, Mora might be a reasonable option. He is just a year removed from hitting .285/.342/.483, while his Ultimate Zone Rating was still 1.1 runs saved above average per 150 games in 2009.
Mora criticized Dave Trembley, Baltimore's manager, in August over a lack of playing time. Therefore, once Baltimore announced Trembley's return, it became far less likely the team would retain Mora, even at a lesser cost.
Mora hit 158 home runs with Baltimore after coming over from the New York Mets in a deal for Mike Bordick.
Other Baltimore moves this afternoon included declining the $850K option on catcher Chad Moeller and outrighting outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, pitchers Chris Lambert and Jim Miller and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez after each cleared waivers.
Via Twitter, MLB.com's Jason Beck notes that the Orioles claimed Tigers minor leaguer Chris Lambert off of waivers. The Tigers designated Lambert for assignment to make room for top pick Jacob Turner on the 40-man roster.