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Just a few quick hits as Day 2 of the winter meetings get under way:

The Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays continued talks yesterday on a deal that would send shortstop Jason Bartlett to Baltimore. The Rays reportedly would prefer to get bullpen help in exchange for Bartlett, but the Orioles aren't much help in that area after non-tendering Matt Albers, allowing Koji Uehara and Mark Hendrickson to hit free agency and trading David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio for third baseman Mark Reynolds. Either way, it's pretty clear that Bartlett is the Orioles' No.1 shortstop target.

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I've heard that even if the Orioles acquire Bartlett or the Minnesota Twins' J.J. Hardy, that doesn't necessarily mean that they won't make free agent Cesar Izturis, their starting shortstop the past two seasons, an offer to return in a utility role. With Brian Roberts' back issues, the Orioles are looking for a veteran utility man who can start for stretches if Roberts is out. Izturis, one of the most popular Orioles among his teammates, is looking for a starting gig and has attracted some interest from a couple of clubs.

The more I hear, the more it seems like Adam LaRoche stands as the Orioles' top free agent target at first base. There aren't too many options at this point, and, at least on paper, LaRoche might make the most sense. Carlos Pena's asking price is sky high, and he also strikes out a ton, which could be a problem with Reynolds, the reigning strikeout king, having already been acquired for the other infield corner.

Oriole officials worked overtime yesterday to assure everybody that third base prospect Josh Bell remains very much in the organization's plans despite the acquisition of Reynolds. However, the sense among officials from other organizations is that Bell is very much available in a deal for pitching.

And to answer a reader question, the Orioles will pay Reynolds $5 million in 2011, $7.5 million in 2012, and the club has an option of $11 million in 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.

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