David Hernandez Rumors
- Chris Tillman's name has been mentioned in connection with the Mark Reynolds trade rumors, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic thinks the D'Backs "seem to like" David Hernandez more, but Hernandez would be just one piece of what's likely to be a pitcher-centric package (Twitter links).
- The O's are one of three teams known to be exploring a Reynolds deal, but they're the ones with "the heaviest interest" in the third baseman according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The Blue Jays and Padres, in fact, "strongly deny" that they're even pursuing Reynolds.
- "Some progress has been made" between the Orioles and Koji Uehara, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The club has been keeping in touch with Uehara's agent and Zrebiec says team officials "feel pretty good" about their ability to re-sign the reliever.
- Zrebiec also notes that Baltimore has been in discussions about a number of free agent relievers and have contacted the representatives of Grant Balfour, Jesse Crain, Scott Downs, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier and Kerry Wood. The O's "have at least one offer out" to one of these pitchers, Zrebiec says.
- Baltimore has contacted Bobby Jenks' agent, reports Zrebiec in another piece.
- From that same article, Zrebiec writes "the next person I speak to in the organization who feels the O’s have a shot at Konerko would be the first." The Orioles' interest in Konerko is "largely overblown" and most insiders feel Konerko will re-sign with the White Sox.
The Orioles' search for a shortstop has led them to Japan and to the trade market. They are going to bid on Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka according to a Sports Hochi report relayed by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The Mariners and Padres also seem likely to bid, but the Giants will not bid and the D'Backs probably won't either.
The Dodgers and Cardinals have some interest in Nishioka and we should know the high bidder by early next week. The 26-year-old switch hitter batted .346 with 22 steals and 206 hits last year. ESPN.com's Keith Law and Newman recently offered more analysis of his game.
The Orioles have also discussed deals for J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett and have dangled David Hernandez. Dan Connolly of the Sun says he's not sure he would give up Hernandez for either shortstop, since he's a big believer in the right-hander's upside, particularly as a reliever.
WEDNESDAY, 10:02am: Millwood update: Zrebiec says the Rangers originally wanted David Hernandez and a low-level prospect for Millwood, and were willing to pay $3MM of the $12MM owed to the veteran. Meanwhile Zrebiec's colleague Peter Schmuck says Chris Ray could be involved and the Rangers would pick up most of Millwood's salary, in one scenario.
TUESDAY, 9:36pm: Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O's are still exchanging trade proposals with the Rangers for Kevin Millwood. T.R. Sullivan reported that the Rangers wanted Chris Tillman initially, but talks have since developed. The Orioles are among the frontrunners for Millwood.
The O's met with the Marlins about Dan Uggla, but the Marlins want two pitching prospects in return and the Orioles are reluctant to hand that kind of package over. The Marlins have one less suitor for Uggla, according to Andrew Baggarly, who says the Giants aren't serious bidders, so that could lower the asking price for the arbitration-eligible infielder.
Here are even more O's rumors:
- Kevin Kouzmanoff and Garrett Atkins interest the O's to an extent.
- Joe Crede and Pedro Feliz remain options for Baltimore, but Adrian Beltre has priced himself out of reach.
- We heard about their interest in Hank Blalock, Carlos Delgado and Nick Johnson earlier today.
- They also have "tepid" interest in Russell Branyan.
- The Orioles aren't particularly intrigued by Joe Blanton and Derek Lowe, who are both available via trade.
- Vladimir Guerrero, Adam LaRoche, Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg all interest the O's slightly.
- They do have interest in Rafael Soriano, and spoke with the Braves about him.
- They're not interested in J.J. Putz.
- MLB.com's Spencer Fordin reports that the Royals engaged the O's in Felix Pie trade talks without ever coming close to a deal.
3:10pm: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan believes the Orioles have cooled on Millwood. He says the Rangers were interested in Chris Tillman (which is crazy) while the O's offered David Hernandez and Brandon Erbe (Erbe alone seems fair).
9:00am: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says no deal is imminent and the Rangers are in serious talks with multiple teams about Millwood. As you know, the Rangers allowed Millwood to record "The $12 Million Out" last September, letting his $12MM option vest for 2010. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic guesses that the D'Backs could be in the mix for Millwood if talks for Edwin Jackson fail, and Morosi agrees.
6:56am: The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck reports that while it may have started as speculation, the rumors of Kevin Millwood going to Baltimore are starting to become more of a reality.
Schmuck reports that the Orioles are getting closer to acquiring Millwood for one of their second-tier pitching prospects. The Rangers are likely to eat some of Millwood's contract no matter what, I assume, but Schmuck writes that the number is dependent on which prospect the Orioles surrender.
Schmuck also adds that the Orioles have "at least a passing interest" in Joel Pineiro. Pineiro's agent Adam Katz tells MASN's Roch Kubatko that Baltimore's interest in Pineiro and Rich Harden has just been "preliminary tire-kicking," however.