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Wednesday night linkage..
- Former Orioles pitching coach Mark Connor, who resigned on June 14, has agreed to return to the Rangers organization, several sources tell Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Connor will assume his former post as player development special consultant.
- Carlos Beltran has already proven to be a valuable addition to the Giants both on the field and in the clubhouse, writes MLB.com's Adam Berry.
- The Red Sox made a substantial offer to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday, a major league source told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Howwever, Colorado was looking for near-major league-ready players, the kind that the BoSox were not willing to offer up in such a deal.
- There hasn't been a lot of dialogue recently between the Marlins and first-round pick Jose Fernandez, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.
- The Orioles sent Mark Hendrickson to Triple-A Norforlk, but he won't become a free agent thanks to a previous agreement between the pitcher and the club, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Hendrickson was demoted to make room for Jo-Jo Reyes, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto on Tuesday.
The latest on the Orioles, who start their season Friday evening in St. Petersburg…
- Top prospect Zach Britton was optioned to Triple-A, as expected. He's likely to be up by the end of April, as the Orioles look to ensure they control the Scott Boras client through 2017 instead of '16. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli discussed the situation with Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who's been through it. Said Longoria, "It's just understanding the politics of the game."
- The Orioles made the curious decision to cut veteran southpaw Mark Hendrickson yesterday, and the 36-year-old must decide by tomorrow whether to opt out or head to Triple-A. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun talked to Hendrickson, who would like to keep his family in Pennsylvania. The Phillies seem like a decent fit.
- Out of options shortstop Robert Andino made the team, notes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
The Orioles are paring down their roster today; here's the latest:
- Lefty Mark Hendrickson is among the team's cuts, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Hendrickson can opt out rather than report to the minors. Given his success against lefties, he should be able to find work in the big leagues.
- Reliever David Riske is also one of today's cuts, reports Ghiroli. She says Riske left camp for personal reasons, and the team isn't sure whether he'll join them in Triple-A. He too has the ability to opt out.
- Righty Rick VandenHurk has been cut, reports Ghiroli. Since the Dutchman is out of options, he'll have to clear waivers to remain with the organization. The O's snagged VandenHurk at last year's trade deadline in the Will Ohman deal.
The Orioles have agreed to sign Mark Hendrickson to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Hendrickson had an offer from the Rockies, but chose to return to Baltimore, where he'll compete to be a situational left-hander and long reliever. Dan Connolly of the Sun reports that the deal is worth about $900K if Hendrickson makes the team (Twitter link).
The 36-year-old logged 75 1/3 innings for the Orioles last year, posting a 5.26 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. He has started at least one game in every season since 2002, but he's primarily a reliever at this point. Hendrickson has held left-handed hitters to a .702 OPS in his career.
The Rays and Orioles also expressed interest in Hendrickson earlier in the offseason. Hendrickson, who played for four NBA teams before focusing on baseball, is now with his fifth MLB club.
The Orioles have offered left-hander Mark Hendrickson a minor league contract, reports The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly. Hendrickson, 36, has posted a 4.74 ERA, a 2.19 K/BB ratio and a 10.6 H/9 rate in 105 games (12 of them starts) over the last two seasons in Baltimore. The Orioles declined Hendrickson's $1.2MM option for 2011, but were still known to be interested in bringing the veteran back at a lower price.
Hendrickson is also being targeted by the Rockies, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. It's no secret Colorado is looking for left-handed bullpen help, specifically a pitcher who is willing to sign a minor league contract. Tampa Bay and Seattle showed some interest in Hendrickson earlier this offseason, but there has been no news on either of those fronts since the Winter Meetings.
The Orioles have "definite interest" in free agent reliever Grant Balfour, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko. Kubatko notes that signing the Type A-designated Balfour would require the Orioles to hand over their second-round pick to the Rays. A year ago, the Orioles were willing to give up the 53rd overall pick to sign Mike Gonzalez. This pick would be later in the draft.
Other former Balfour suitors such as the Red Sox and Rockies have filled bullpen needs, so the Orioles have some leverage. The O's still have lingering interest in Kevin Gregg, a situation that's starting to drag. Kubatko says they'd also like to sign a lefty reliever, and "the door still hasn't closed" on Mark Hendrickson and Will Ohman.
The Rays and Mariners are interested in lefty reliever Mark Hendrickson, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Hendrickson's former team, the Orioles, is also keeping tabs on him. The O's declined a $1.2MM option on him last month.
Hendrickson, a 6'9" southpaw, turned 36 in June. This year he posted a 5.26 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 42.9% groundball rate in 75.3 innings. Hendrickson's FanGraphs splits show he's been plenty effective against left-handed batters over the past few years.
The Orioles officially declined their $1.2MM club option on lefty Mark Hendrickson, according to a team press release. They'll pay a $200K buyout instead. The move was widely expected.
Hendrickson, a 6'9" southpaw, turned 36 in June. This year he posted a 5.26 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, and 42.9% groundball rate in 75.3 innings. He deserved an ERA more like 4.18, according to Baseball Prospectus' SIERA stat. Hendrickson's FanGraphs splits show he's been plenty effective against left-handed batters over the past few years.
If there were any doubts about how much trade deadline acquisitions can affect the postseason, last night's Giants/Braves contest silenced them. A pair of former Royals, Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, helped lead Atlanta to victory, while ex-Red Sox Ramon Ramirez gave up Ankiel's game-winning blast. As we prepare for another round of playoff baseball tonight, let's check out a few links….
- Casey Blake hit just .248/.320/.407 this season, but MLB.com's Sarah Morris thinks Ned Colletti has more pressing needs than finding a new third baseman.
- Meanwhile, Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times says that today's Matt Kemp-Nationals rumor won't be the last time the centerfielder's name comes up on the rumor circuit this winter.
- The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec expects the Orioles to buy out Mark Hendrickson's $1.2MM option for $200K. Hendrickson could return to the team at a lower price, according to Zrebiec.
- Carlos Matias (now known as Carlos Martinez) has received Visa approval and completed his $1.5MM deal with the Cardinals, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes (Twitter link). The Dominican right-hander agreed to terms with St. Louis in June, and has been outstanding in the Dominican Summer League (0.76 ERA, 11.9 K/9).
- The Red Sox have outrighted Rich Hill to the minors, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. The lefty will become a free agent five days after the World Series.
- In his latest appearance on WEEI, Peter Gammons discussed Cliff Lee, Boston's bullpen, and how the purchase of Liverpool FC affects the Red Sox.
- As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Billy Wagner's strained oblique will keep him out of the NLDS and, if the Braves advance, the NLCS. With the left-hander still planning to retire, Wagner may have made his final big league appearance last night.
You might see Ty Wigginton in an Orioles uniform next season, but it’s less likely that the club re-signs Kevin Millwood or Julio Lugo. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he has preliminary interest in re-signing some of Baltimore’s free agents, though final decisions are months away. Here are the details:
- Ty Wigginton: The Orioles have interest in re-signing Wigginton, and the infielder told Connolly that he would consider returning in 2011. "I enjoy getting to go out and compete and put on a Baltimore Orioles uniform,” Wigginton said. “I think I can definitely be a good fit; we'll just have to see how everything works out."
- Koji Uehara: The reliever said he’s not thinking about next year, but confirmed that he wanted to pitch for an MLB team. Uehara, who projects as a Type B free agent under the Elias Rankings, would do well to sign for a couple million, as Tim Dierkes explained today.
- Cesar Izturis: The shortstop says he’d like to spend the rest of his career in Baltimore, and the O’s have’t ruled out bringing him back.
- Corey Patterson: Connolly points out that if Patterson re-signs, the sides will likely reach a deal late in the offseason.
- Kevin Millwood: Millwood may seek out a pitcher-friendly environment after years of pitching in Baltimore and Texas. An arbitration offer seems unlikely for the projected Type B free agent.
- Mark Hendrickson: The Orioles have a $1.2MM option for the lefty’s services in 2011, so he could return.