We've been asked a lot in the past about which Orioles on the 40-man roster are out of options this spring, meaning ones who will have to clear waivers before being sent to Triple-A Norfolk.
Here's the list: Jeremy Accardo, Robert Andino, Jake Fox, Michael Gonzalez, Jeremy Guthrie, Jim Johnson, Felix Pie, Alfredo Simon and Rick VandenHurk.
All the young guys you can think of still have minor league options remaining. All the veterans you can think of no longer have options remaining.
It's highly unlikely that the Orioles would try to send established players such as Gonzalez, Guthrie, Johnson and Pie through waivers. They would almost certainly be claimed.
Of the remaining five, Accardo, Fox and VandenHurk have not been outrighted previously, meaning that if they cleared waivers, they would have to return to Triple-A Norfolk. Andino and Simon have been outrighted previously, so they could opt for free agency if they cleared waivers.
Another interesting case is infielder Brendan Harris, who is not on the 40-man roster and can be sent to Triple-A Norfolk this spring without any further roster implications. However, if the Orioles purchase his contract this year and then try to send him to the minors at a later date, he would have to clear waivers first. And he could elect free agency if he clears waivers.
More on Simon
Simon's situation is obviously a little more precarious given his legal troubles. He is still in a prison in the Dominican Republic waiting to be either charged in the New Year's Day shooting death of his cousin or released. The official ballistics report is still not out, so that waiting game continues for both Simon and the Orioles.
The Orioles likely won't be making a roster move involving him at least until baseball's mandatory reporting date passes in March, assuming he is still in the Dominican at that time.
Orioles had interest in Gorzelanny
When the Chicago Cubs dealt for Matt Garza this month, it became likely that the Cubs would trade one of their excess starters. And since the Orioles are looking for a veteran starter and the Cubs are a frequent trade partner, it seemed possible that the Orioles could fill their need that way.
But on Monday, the Cubs traded 28-year-old lefty Tom Gorzelanny to the Washington Nationals for three minor leaguers. One Orioles source said the club had legitimate interest in Gorzelanny and there were some trade discussions with the Cubs before Gorzelanny was shipped to Washington.
Another possible fit, free agent Chris Young, is reportedly about to sign a deal with the New York Mets, according to ESPNNewYork.com
There remain plenty of starting options out there, but none is particularly inspiring. Free agents include Jeremy Bonderman, Doug Davis, Justin Duchscherer, Freddy Garcia, Rodrigo Lopez, John Maine, Kevin Millwood, Brian Moehler and Nate Robertson. Potential trade targets could include the Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga, Atlanta Braves' Kenshin Kawakami and Philadelphia Phillies' Joe Blanton, though the $17 million remaining over the next two years of his contract make him an unlikely fit for the Orioles.
Minor matters -- former Orioles version
A few former Orioles signed minor league deals in the last week. In case you missed it, former closer Jorge Julio signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Willie Harris and Raul Chavez with the Mets and Jim Miller with the Colorado Rockies.
Miller, a 28-year-old right-handed reliever, was 1-0 with a 4.84 ERA in 33 games last year for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Va. What makes his signing noteworthy is that he is going back to his original organization, which dealt him and another minor leaguer to the Orioles for Rodrigo Lopez in 2007.
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