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MacPhail and the market

O's president of baseball ops Andy MacPhail was asked after today's news conference whether the team will continue to pursue pitching help in the free-agent market. His answer doesn't really clarify the situation much, but it does include his rationale for not going after several free agents to fill the openings in the starting rotation.

"We're going to have to monitor the market and see what evolves now within a month of the reporting date for pitchers and catchers,'' he said. "We're going to have to balance any veteran innings eaters with trying to find out about those young pitchers we had last year, whether it'd be Olson or Liz or Waters or whatever. So I don't know that we are going to want to get so veteran-loaded that we preclude ourselves the opportunity to give some innings to those young guys who have been viewed as prospects here in the past.

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"But at the same time, if things that make sense to you open up -- opportunities that might evolve in the market to reach its final stage -- we are obviously going to have to be very cognizant of that and balance the two."

In other words, if a real solid option is still dangling out there when everybody is down to one-year, incentive-laden deals, the Orioles might try to swoop in and add another starter during the final weeks before the opening of training camp.

Catching up: MacPhail all but confirmed the O's are about to finalize a deal with free agent catcher Gregg Zaun, perhaps fulfilling a prophecy from Monday that something would happen very soon after the Koji Uehara news conference.

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