Baltimore Sun

No reason to stop the presses

Orioles president Andy MacPhail was busy working the phones today, but there are no big deals to announce. No small ones, either.
Each day like this one brings Corey Patterson a little closer to Baltimore.

It’s typical during the winter months for the media to chase rumors and speculate on which direction a team could go to fill certain positions, but it would be nice to report on something that actually happens. And that includes having MacPhail declare that trade talks involving Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts are over and both players will report to Fort Lauderdale Stadium next month. That, too, would be newsworthy.

I just want some closure.

Greg Aquino remains a top candidate to replace injured Chris Ray as the ninth-inning specialist. The team still has no interest in Armando Benitez, who would settle for a one-year deal, but apparently won’t find one here.

The Orioles remain in the market for a backup catcher. They won’t simply hand the job to Guillermo Quiroz. Spring invitee Ben Davis, the second overall pick in the 1995 draft, will push Quiroz. Look for another player to sign before next month.

If the Orioles eventually need to make room on their 40-man roster, they can transfer Ray and Danys Baez to the 60-day disabled list. They also could return Rule 5 pick Randor Bierd to the Tigers.

(Without looking it up, quickly name last year’s Rule 5 pick who didn’t make the roster. I had to think about it for a few minutes, even though I spoke to him on a regular basis last spring.)

I almost forgot that pitcher Jon Leicester remains on the 40-man. So does Jim Johnson, who tends to be overlooked because of all the hype surrounding Garrett Olson, Troy Patton, Matt Albers, Radhames Liz, Hayden Penn, etc. Pitchers Fredy Deza and Fernando Cabrera, and outfielder Chris Roberson, also could be 40-man casualties, depending on how they perform over the next few months, and the team’s commitment to them.