Ten days before the nonwaiver trade deadline, Orioles closer George Sherrill continues to be one of the most coveted players on the market, with the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers among the most aggressive suitors, according to industry sources.
The Orioles are believed to be seeking two or three prospects - one potentially being a shortstop - for the 31-year-old All-Star reliever. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail wouldn't comment on Sherrill specifically but has made it clear he will listen to offers for any of his players.
"When it comes to that, we'll evaluate each deal on a case-by-case basis and try to make the best decision for the organization and the fans, bearing in mind that we're trying to build a team that will contend in the American League East," MacPhail said.
With it unlikely that the Orioles will trade second baseman Brian Roberts, Sherrill, who has 29 saves, has become the team's biggest trade chip, attracting interest from as many as 10 teams, according to industry sources.
The Cardinals are one of the best fits because they have blown a National League-high 23 save tries this season. The Brewers, who have already acquired starting pitcher CC Sabathia and second baseman Ray Durham, are still looking to upgrade the back end of their bullpen. Other teams that potentially could be interested are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees.
Sherrill, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the Erik Bedard deal, said he is flattered by the outside interest but has no desire to leave Baltimore.
"It's flattering to be the one that they keep asking about, but right now, I'm an Oriole and proud of it," Sherrill said. "It's out of my control, and if I got traded, I'd be going to somebody in the playoff hunt. But I want to stay here and win here, first and foremost."
Manager Dave Trembley receives daily updates on all of the Orioles' prospects, and the positive reports on catcher Matt Wieters continue to match the impression he made in spring training.
Wieters, who is not expected to receive a September call-up, has reached base in all 23 games since his promotion to Double-A Bowie. His 17-game hitting streak ended Saturday. Wieters is batting .346 with six doubles, three homers, 10 RBIs and a .977 on-base plus slugging percentage with the Baysox, after batting .345 with eight doubles, 15 homers and 40 RBIs in 69 games at Single-A Frederick.
"I think I said it in spring training when I first saw him that I didn't think he'd be a guy that would be in the minor leagues for long," Trembley said. "I think he has far surpassed all expectations of being able to adapt so quickly because the minor league lifestyle is a grind. ... I just think the guy is going to be what everybody expects he's going to be. He's going to be a quality catcher with the Orioles for a long time, and it's going to be sooner than later."
Around the horn
Luke Scott was named the American League's Player of the Week after batting .538 with two doubles, three homers, six RBIs and four runs scored in four games after the break. ...The Orioles signed their 14th-round draft pick, pitcher Jesse Beal of South County High in Fairfax, Va.