President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said having a chance at a young potential starter was the impetus for dealing lefty Will Ohman at the non-waiver trade deadline for Florida Marlins' 25-year-old right-hander Rick VandenHurk.
“Will certainly did do everything he could have,” MacPhail said. “Part of the rationale on making the trade was we are obviously not in the race and the Marlins are a lot closer than we are and they don’t have a lefty in the bullpen. Based on how we are going with our bullpen, a short-inning lefty or lefty specialist was really a luxury for us.”
MacPhail said the Orioles had been interested in VandenHurk for a while and had been rebuffed by the Marlins. But they called back moments before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
“We had asked for him and they had said, ‘No,’ ” MacPhail said. “Five minutes before the deadline. We had sort of put him out of our head.”
VandenHurk will be sent to Triple-A Norfolk to start in the Tides’ rotation. He will be out of options next season, so must make the Orioles’ 25-man roster heading out of spring.
“We see him as a long guy or a potential starter,” MacPhail said. “We’ll put him in the mix and he’ll give us another option for a starter in the rest of the 2010 season.”
The Orioles made just one minor deal, but MacPhail said overall it was a very busy day.
“We had more conversations than I had expected about a greater variety of subjects than I had expected going into the morning,” he said. “How close we came (to other deals) I don’t know. Whether we’ll do something later as the result of the talks we have had, that’s possible as well.”