The latest from Baltimore, courtesy of Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com:
- The Orioles’ reported interest in free agent first baseman Chris Carter is at least somewhat “exaggerated,” according to Kubatko, who does note that adding him or re-signing fellow designated hitter type Pedro Alvarez is possible. The team’s focus is still on re-signing Mark Trumbo, even though it pulled its offer to him off the table last week, and will only turn to Carter, Alvarez or another slugger if he goes elsewhere. Unlike Trumbo, who figures to land a multiyear pact, either Carter or Alvarez would likely have to take a one-year deal to end up with the Orioles. Alvarez did that last offseason with Baltimore, which inked him to a pact featuring a guaranteed $5.75MM in March. The lefty-swinging 29-year-old went on to slash .249/.322/.504 with 22 homers in 376 plate appearances. If Alvarez returns to the Orioles for a second go-around, it seems he’d share the DH spot with the right-handed Trey Mancini.
- Given their corner outfield need, the O’s are still interested in free agent Michael Saunders – to whom they were linked at the Winter Meetings – but they’d prefer him on a one-year contract, Kubatko writes. Health has been an issue in the past with Saunders, who missed a combined 237 games from 2014-15, but he appeared in a career-high 140 contests last season as a Blue Jay and batted an above-average .253/.338/.478 with 24 homers in 558 PAs.
- As expected, the Orioles’ signing of catcher Welington Castillo essentially closed the door on Matt Wieters’ lengthy tenure with the organization, per Kubatko. The O’s were neither willing to meet agent Scott Boras’ demands nor wait around until the new year, when Wieters is likely to sign, to settle their situation behind the plate. They’ll now go with Castillo and Caleb Joseph in the short term as they await the arrival of big-hitting prospect Chance Sisco.