SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles' decision to add veteran starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the starting rotation and forfeit a first-round draft choice was a difficult one. The pending decision to subtract a player from the 40-man roster to make room for him might be even tougher.
Manager Buck Showalter acknowledged that Sunday, but no one wants to speculate about his next move until Gallardo passes his physical and is officially activated.
There have been times when the Orioles' talent pool was so shallow that there were seemingly obvious choices all over the roster. That is not the case now. The roster cut will be a painful one unless executive vice president Dan Duquette makes some kind of deal to open a space.
"The razor's got a little sting," Showalter said. "The knife's got a little sting now. … Dan asked me to poll around the coaches in the meeting in the morning, which we've done the last couple of days. I've got what Dan's thinking. We're all looking at the same factors in it."
Since the Orioles have 22 pitchers on their 40-man roster, Gallardo seems likely to knock another pitcher off the team. Showalter said that's not necessarily the case.
"I don't think it means it's going to be a pitcher," he said. "Who knows? We could be having the same thing again."
That was just the latest veiled reference to the possibility that the Orioles will sign free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler and force another difficult roster move. Either way, it might not bode well for designated hitter candidate Jimmy Paredes.
Paredes was the surprise of the season's first half last year, a switch hitter who batted in the mid-300s and, for a brief moment, led the American League in batting average. He could not sustain that down the stretch and finished the season with a .310 on-base percentage. He's also a defensive liability.
The roster decision will be made after Gallardo passes his physical and signs his contract, which could happen as soon as Tuesday.