Mark Hendrickson Rumors

Orioles Sign Mark Hendrickson

The Orioles officially re-signed lefty Mark Hendrickson to a one-year, $1.4MM deal today.  Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported the agreement on January 28th.  The deal pays $1.2MM in 2010 and includes a $1.2MM club option for 2011 with a $200K buyout.  The 35-year-old will take on a relief role in 2010, though the contract contains bonuses for games started.  The Orioles made room for Hendrickson by designating reliever Armando Gabino for assignment.

As a reliever in 2009, Hendrickson posted a 3.44 ERA, 6.1 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 in 55 innings.


Orioles Designate Armando Gabino For Assignment

The Orioles designated righty reliever Armando Gabino for assignment to make room for Mark Hendrickson, according to a team press release.  Gabino, 26, posted a 2.94 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 2.2 BB/9 for the Twins' Triple A club in '09 before Baltimore claimed him off waivers in November.


Odds & Ends: Hart, Yankees, Baldelli, Ruiz

A few Friday night links…



Orioles Make Offer To Will Ohman

The Orioles offered a minor league deal to lefty reliever Will Ohman, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.  Ohman will throw for the O's and other clubs this week.  Ohman, 32, had a lost 2009 season after signing with the Dodgers on March 30th.  Shoulder problems led to September surgery.  When he's right, Ohman can shut down lefties.  Connolly adds that the Orioles are still in talks with southpaw Mark Hendrickson.

Connolly also notes that Miguel Tejada's one-year, $6MM deal to return to Baltimore is official.  Connolly speculates that reliever Dennis Sarfate could be designated for assignment to make room for Tejada.  You may recall that Sarfate came to the Orioles from the Astros in the December '07 Tejada trade.


Orioles Notes: MacPhail On Bedard, Hendrickson

According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, the Orioles are simply looking for "any kind of pitching" as the club winds down its winter shopping.  While corner infield help ostensibly remains at the top of Baltimore's shopping list, O's GM Andy MacPhail told Kubatko that it isn't a critical priority given the club's organizational strength at the corners (i.e. prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder).

As for pitching, however, MacPhail said, "we'll always sort of stay in the hunt for pitching."  Here's what MacPhail had to say about two potential free-agent targets…

  • Erik Bedard.  We've heard some rumors about the O's looking to bring the left-hander back to Baltimore, but the lack of activity should not be taken as a decline in interest on the club's part.  Bedard "doesn't seem to be in a rush to sign" with anyone, and MacPhail noted that Bedard was likely to sign "a late-January type deal anyway, if that."  Given how Bedard's probable contract will be a one or two-year, incentive-laden deal, it makes sense that clubs would wait to see how the rest of the offseason pitching market shakes down before making Bedard an offer.  MacPhail added that based on some preliminary medical information the Baltimore staff has received about Bedard, the southpaw will be able to pitch before midseason, contrary to what some reports have suggested. 
  • Mark Hendrickson.  It's been widely assumed that Hendrickson would re-sign with Baltimore, and the pitcher himself said he was hoping to get a deal done quickly back in October.  But now we're a third of the way through January and the left-hander is still a free agent.  MacPhail said the team is still interested in bringing Hendrickson back, but they have been waiting "to see how some of these other things play out, as far as what we do and how extensive it's going to be and how our roster shapes up.  So we can't quite commit yet, but we never pretended that there wasn't interest." 

Kubatko also reported that the door seems to be closed on Ben Sheets joining the Orioles.  Sheets fit the Bedard mold as a pitcher who would sign a short-term deal, but Kubatko said Baltimore asked for (and never received) Sheets' medical records.  Sheets "apparently wants to be paid as if he isn't a health risk," which is a pretty firm negotiating stance for a pitcher who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2008.


Odds & Ends: Orioles, Braves, Indians

Lots of other bits of information to get to on a busy Monday:

  • The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly has several pieces of information about once and perhaps future Orioles. Former Oriole Melvin Mora has three suitors, according to Mora's agent, two National League teams and one American League team.
  • Mark Hendrickson, by contrast, could well return to Baltimore. He lives in nearby York, PA and wants to play in Baltimore. His agent, Joe Urbon, said both sides have talked, but there's been no movement yet.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution believes that if his price tag drops to well below $10MM, Johnny Damon could be a good fit for the Braves. You'd have to think the Yankees would get back involved at that price, however.
  • Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs.com thinks a disparity in GM talent could be behind the gap between the National and American League.
  • And if Cleveland fans weren't upset enough over recent deals for Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia and Victor Martinez, MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince checks in with when he expects Cleveland to begin looking to trade Grady Sizemore in his latest Inbox.
  • MLB.com's Chris Haft thinks the Giants should take a look at Mike Jacobs.

Orioles Day One Recap

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec takes a look back at Baltimore's first day of the Winter Meetings:

  • The O's targeted pitching heavily, inquiring on Kevin Millwood and attaining the medical record for former Baltimore ace Erik Bedard. The O's would want Texas to eat some of Millwood's $12MM salary. They won't go after Bedard (or any other pitcher) if they're not 100% for Opening Day.
  • Andy MacPhail will meet with Bedard's agent in the next couple of days.
  • The Orioles were interested in Rafael Soriano prior to his decision to accept arbitration from the Braves.
  • Kevin Gregg is an option for relief help, but Baltimore sees him as a 7th or 8th inning guy, not a closer.
  • Felix Pie has drawn a lot of inquiries, but MacPhail points out that none of Pie, Nolan Reimold, and Adam Jones have played a full, healthy season yet, and the depth is probably a good thing for the Orioles when taking that into consideration.
  • Lots of young O's pitching has come up, including Zach Britton and David Hernandez.
  • MacPhail met with Joe Urbon, agent for Mark Hendrickson. Zrebiec says it's only a matter of time before a deal is done.
  • There hasn't been much in the way of talks for Dan Uggla recently.
  • Baltimore won't be bidders for John Lackey, but they like Hank Blalock, Nick Johnson, and Carlos Delgado as options for first base. Luke Scott is not a full-time first base option. Pedro Feliz is their primary third base target.
  • Baltimore isn't in on talks for Edwin Jackson or Matt Lindstrom, but they did meet with the agent for Aroldis Chapman.
  • Baltimore may sign another catcher, but it's not a priority.

Orioles Notes: Beltre, Delgado, Wolf, Blalock

The Orioles are positioned to be buyers in free agency, according to Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  GM Andy MacPhail says that the club is looking to spend this offseason, but there remains some skepticism in Baltimore as to whether owner Peter Angelos will be willing to open up his checkbook.  If the O's decide to dole out dollars this winter, here are some of the players they will and won't be targeting:

  • Barring a change in organizational plans, you can cross the Orioles off the list of suitors for outfielders Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
  • The Orioles have contacted the agents of Chone Figgins and John Lackey, but are hardly alone in that regard.
  • Adrian Beltre and Pedro Feliz top the O's wish list to replace Melvin Mora at third base. 
  • At first base, Nick Johnson, Hank Blalock, and Carlos Delgado are options.  We know that Baltimore is not the only club keeping tabs on Delgado, as his last employer is said to be keeping an eye on him as well.  The 37-year-old slugger ranked #43 on Tim's Top 50 Free Agents list, where it is predicted that he will sign with the Orioles.
  • Andy MacPhail & Co. are considering Dodgers pitchers Randy Wolf and Jon Garland, as well as Braden Looper.  MacPhail noted that the club is not afraid to take a chance on a hurler with a history of injuries and high upside.  Former Oriole Erik Bedard, Ben Sheets, and Rich Harden all fit the bill.
  • The O's would gladly add an established closer at the right price.  Billy Wagner, Fernando Rodney, and Mike Gonzalez are mentioned as members of a deep crop of available relievers.
  • It shouldn't be long before the Orioles agree to terms with pitcher Mark Hendrickson as both sides want to get a deal done.  The 6'9 lefty spent time with four different organizations before coming to Baltimore – eight if you count NBA teams.

Orioles Rumors: Corner Infielders, Hendrickson

MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez has a bunch of Orioles rumors for us, but unfortunately they're spread out among a half-dozen tweets or so. Here's the goods…


Odds & Ends: Phillies, Hendrickson, Sheets, Brewers, Hinske

A few links to start the day…