Yesterday, we heard that the Orioles and Cubs talked about a deal involving Alfonso Soriano. In order to ship the outfielder elsewhere, the Cubs would have to eat a substantial portion of the $54MM remaining on his contract. Here's more on Soriano and the Orioles..
- Talks between the Orioles and Cubs were probably not very serious, sources told Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. Dan Duquette doesn't want to spend heavily on a designated hitter and even if the Cubs ate about 80% of the $54MM owed to Soriano, the O's would still be on the hook for $3-4MM for each of the next three seasons.
- Dubroff adds that if Duquette shells out a big contract this winter, it'll be for a pitcher, not for a one-dimensional DH. Former O's reliever Mike Gonzalez is still on the open market, but it's not likely that he'll get the chance to redeem himself in Baltimore.
- The Orioles and Blue Jays have both evaluated Manny Ramirez, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Spanish link). According to a source, both clubs sent scouts to watch Ramirez hit in an indoor cage in Miami.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter) writes that executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira and manager Buck Showalter watched Ramirez take batting practice shortly after the Winter Meetings.
- The Orioles didn't trade for Jai Miller because of concerns over Nick Markakis' health, writes Kubatko. Miller is seen as an upgrade over former first-round pick Brandon Snyder, and a better overall player than Matt Angle. The O's acquired Miller for $45K from the Athletics on Tuesday.
- The Orioles signed Korean right-hander Eun Chul Choi to a minor league deal, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Not much is known about the 6-foot-5 hurler, but based on comments from Duquette, it seems that his signing marks the beginning of a serious push into Korea by the organization.