Orioles: Out of options

The likely trade for Chicago Cubs pitcher Rich Hill, which was reported by Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly yesterday, would add still another player to the Orioles' roster who is out of minor league options. That means the club has to keep him in the major leagues or put him through waivers to send him to Triple-A Norfolk.

It probably won't be a particularly tough decision, since Hill is a talented guy who has lost his command and will either get it back under familiar coaches Rick Kranitz and Alan Dunn or be considered no great loss on waivers. But he will be far from alone in that roster predicament when he reports to Fort Lauderdale with the other pitchers and catchers on Feb. 14.

The Orioles have seven players with less than five years of major league service who are out of options, including Brian Bass, newly acquired pitcher David Pauley, Hayden Penn, Dennis Sarfate, Scott Moore, Felix Pie and even Jeremy Guthrie.

Of course, Guthrie's option count is not an issue. Pie and Sarfate aren't going anywhere either. But the club could have some difficult decisions late in March. In addition, utilityman Donnie Murphy is out of options, but is not on the 40-man roster.

The club also has four players with just one option left -- Brad Hennessey (not on the 40-man), Alfredo Simon, Brian Burres and Matt Albers.

Radio, radio: Former Baltimore Colt Stan White will join me for a Super Bowl preview tonight on Sportsline on WBAL (1090 AM). We'll also talk Ravens, break down the Rich Hill deal with Orioles beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec and take a ton of your calls. If you're out of signal range, go to WBAL.com and click on the "Listen Live" icon.

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