Winfield talks in exploratory stageThe Orioles have...


Winfield talks in exploratory stage

The Orioles have shown some interest in free-agent outfielder Dave Winfield, but the discussions apparently have not progressed beyond the feeling-out stage.

"They have shown interest in Dave and Dave has shown interest in them," agent Jeff Klein said. "I don't know yet if we have any common ground."

Winfield has drawn interest from a number of clubs following a season in which he hit 26 home runs and had 108 RBI for the World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.

Lopes still waiting

Orioles coach Davey Lopes still is waiting for word on the San Francisco Giants' managerial hire. He interviewed with Giants general manager Bob Quinn at the winter meetings, but doesn't expect to hear anything until next week.

"He indicated to me that they wouldn't be announcing anything for 10 days to two weeks," Lopes said. "I thought the interview went extremely well, but I still think that Dusty [Baker] is the leading candidate."

Lopes and Baker were teammates with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both would like to get the job, but it is a very friendly competition.

Shapiro on Bill Ripken

Agent Ron Shapiro said yesterday that he would not talk to other clubs about second baseman Bill Ripken until the waiver period expires tomorrow.

"We will wait to see if anyone claims him," Shapiro said. "It would not be to our advantage to talk to anyone before then."

Ripken was not available for comment again yesterday, but Shapiro characterized him as "saddened" by the Orioles' decision to waive him for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

"Bill has the capacity to be positive about the obstacles that are put in front of him," Shapiro said, "but at the same time, he was sad. It was painful. There was no real warning. It was like a ton of bricks. It's not easy to be taken out of something that you've been involved in that long, but Bill is going to make the most of the situation. It's something he has to deal with."

Shapiro on Orsulak

Joe Orsulak has been approached by a number of clubs interested in acquiring outfield depth. Shapiro said he received a call yesterday from a club that he characterized as "very encouraging," and there are about five other inquiries he will be following up on.

"It's going to take a couple of weeks," he said.

Moyer, Coolbaugh added

The Orioles signed two minor-league free agents, left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer and third baseman Scott Coolbaugh.

Moyer, 30, has played for the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched for the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, last season, going 10-8 with a 2.86 ERA in 21 games.

Coolbaugh, 26, has played for the Rangers and San Diego Padres. He played for San Diego's Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas last season before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, who sent him to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He hit a combined .248 with 13 home runs in 387 at-bats.

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