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Disregard everything I just said about Andy MacPhail moving deliberately in his pursuit of free agents. Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly are reporting that the Orioles have reached agreements with former Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez and non-tendered Rockies corner infielder Garrett Atkins. You can read all about it right here.

The Orioles have now added veteran players in three of the four areas that Andy MacPhail identified as the club's top priorities. They still need another corner infielder, but retain the flexibility to acquire either a first baseman or a third baseman, since Atkins probably can be used in either role.

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Depends on whether MacPhail is willing to gamble on somebody like Carlos Delgado to provide more pop, or would rather go with a workmanlike acquisition such as third baseman Joe Crede. Guess we could find out any minute the way MacPhail is cranking out the transactions this month.

Of course, it would be more fun if Adrian Gonzalez was a more likely possibility, but Atkins has some upside and the bullpen appears to be more secure. Still can't say the Orioles are keeping pace with the Yankees and Red Sox, but it's refreshing to see them getting busy before Christmas.

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