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The Orioles have not been particularly focused on third base during the first couple days of the Winter Meetings, but it appears they may be expanding their horizon at the hot corner. The free agent name that has been most prominent lately is free agent Pedro Feliz, but the Orioles also have expressed interest in San Diego Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who had 18 homers and 88 RBI in 141 games last year.

The Padres are slashing payroll and they've got a handful of players who are headed for arbitration. Kouzmanoff is one of them, and there have been published reports that it's not entirely out of the question he might end up being non-tendered. I think that's ridiculous, but he's definitely available and not necessarily at a heavy price in trade.

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He might be more than a one-year stopgap -- he's a 28-year-old guy with good pop and great hands at third -- but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be a fit for the Orioles, who can't be sure that both Josh Bell and first base prospect Brandon Snyder will be ready to play regularly by 2011.

The Padres are trolling for pitching prospects, and they probably wouldn't demand the cream of the Orioles' crop.

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