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O's ready to gamble?

The Orioles front office team will assemble tomorrow in Las Vegas and get a jump on the winter meetings, which technically begin Monday at the ritzy Bellagio Hotel. They haven't exactly inflated expectations for an active week, but Sun baseball writers Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec reported in today's editions that they have legitimate interest in a couple of the veteran Japanese pitchers who are on the market this winter.

The next Daisuke Matsuzaka isn't among them, but this might be an opportunity to pick up a No. 4 or No. 5 starter for a reasonable price. Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara are both 33 years old and both were very accomplished pitchers in their native country, but opinions differ on whether either will be particularly successful in the American major leagues.

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In this case, I think the Orioles can afford to gamble if the price for one of them is not outrageous. If nothing else, it will help the local economy because each transplanted Japanese star generally comes with his own cadre of Japanese media. There's certainly enough room in the press box these days.


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