The Orioles will hold their first workout for pitchers and catchers Thursday at Fort Lauderdale Stadium in Florida. Meanwhile, club president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail still has plenty to accomplish as spring training approaches.
1. Decide Brian Roberts' fate
When the offseason began, it was expected that Miguel Tejada would be the first Orioles veteran standout to be traded, followed by Erik Bedard and then Brian Roberts. Well, Tejada and Bedard are gone, and Roberts' future hangs in the balance. Talks with the Chicago Cubs are ongoing, but MacPhail might have to make a decision soon. Don't be shocked if the Orioles keep the All-Star second baseman for now and revisit trade talks before July's trade deadline.
2. Sign a veteran starter
The Orioles want to bring in at least one veteran starter to eat innings and to offer insurance so they won't have to rely so heavily on unproven youngsters. The free-agent market is thin. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are too risky for health reasons. Kyle Lohse and Livan Hernandez are probably too expensive. Jeff Weaver and David Wells might carry too much baggage. That leaves Josh Fogg and Steve Trachsel as the most likely candidates.
3. Continue to define front office roles
Lost in the news conference after the Erik Bedard trade was the announcement that John Stockstill will be the team's director of international scouting. One of Stockstill's focuses will be on the Pacific Rim, where the Orioles need to make up for lost time. It is MacPhail's latest attempt to improve the infrastructure of the organization. He will likely make another front office hiring and shift around some roles within the next couple of weeks.
4. Find a taker for high-priced veterans
The Orioles would love to move one of their high-priced veterans to create some roster flexibility. However, that's easier said than done, and it might not be possible. They have shopped outfielders Jay Payton and Jay Gibbons and designated hitter Aubrey Huff and found no takers even though it's expected that they would have to eat some money on their contracts to move them.