Ford, Phillips, Tolleson elect to become free agents

November 06, 2012 | WNST Staff

After being outrighted by the Orioles to Triple-A Norfolk on Friday, veteran outfielder Lew Ford has joined infielder Steve Tolleson and left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips in filing for free agency.

Ford batted .183 with three home runs in 25 games for the Orioles this season. The 35-year-old was signed to a minor-league deal before making his return to the big leagues in late July after a five-year absence.

Tolleson, 29, hit .183 in 29 games stretched over four separate stints with the Orioles in 2012.

The 26-year-old Phillips appeared in only six games for Baltimore in 2012, allowing four earned runs in six innings of work.

All three players are allowed to negotiate with other major league teams but could potentially re-sign with the Orioles.

The organization has 25 minor-league free agents, according to a list provided by Baseball America.

Other minor-league free agents who appeared in Baltimore at one point include left-handed pitcher Pedro Viola, middle infielders Ryan Adams and Blake Davis, and first baseman Rhyne Hughes.

Another notable name appearing on the list is 2006 first-round pick Billy Rowell, whose miserable run with the Orioles has come to an end after the 24-year-old never rose above Double-A Bowie in his seven years with the organization. Rowell was suspended 50 games for marijuana use during the 2012 season.

Here’s the entire Baseball American list:

RHP: Eric Beaulac (HiA), Matt Bischoff (HiA), Greg Burke (AAA), Brandon Erbe (HiA), Robert Hinton (AA), Oscar Melendez (HiA), Kyler Newby (AA), Joel Pineiro (AAA), Oscar Villarreal (AAA), Bobby Wilkins (LoA)
LHP: Zach Phillips (AAA), Rich Rundles (AAA), Pedro Viola (AAA)
C: Chase Weems (SS)
1B: Rhyne Hughes (AA), Billy Rowell (SS)
2B: Travis Adair (HiA), Ryan Adams (AAA)
SS: Blake Davis (AAA), Steve Tolleson (AAA)
OF: Josh Barfield (AA), Scott Beerer (AAA), Lew Ford (AAA), Jamie Hoffmann (AAA), Antoan Richardson (AA)