The MLB GM meetings are currently underway in Chicago and the rumors have been flying fast and furious. The GM meetings are a precursor to the MLB Winter meetings and may give us some indication of moves that could be made in the coming weeks. Most Oriole fans would agree that the club’s biggest needs are, in no particular order, a veteran starter, closer, 1st basemen, 3rd basemen and some right handed pop.
On a positive note we’ve heard some intriguing names swirling around the Orioles over the past few days. MLBtraderumors.com reported that the Orioles have had discussions with the Marlins regarding 2nd baseman Dan Uggla, who would convert to 3rd for the O’s. The Marlins would most likely be interested in young pitching in return for Uggla, something the O’s have been stockpiling. The 29 year old Uggla has averaged 30 homers and 90 RBI in his 4 big league seasons. He would represent a significant offensive upgrade to Melvin Mora and would solidify third base and provide some right handed thump for the middle of the order. Other third base options linked to the Orioles include Mark DeRosa and the soon to be released Garrett Atkins of the Rockies.
Erik Bedard’s name has also been linked to the O’s. The best thing Bedard ever did for the Orioles was get traded for Adam Jones. He only made 30 starts in the past 2 seasons for the Mariners, but at the right price Bedard could be an interesting option for the O’s. He’s not an Ace, but he’s familiar with the team and the city, has had success in the AL East and could come at a bargain price considering his injury history. Bedard isn’t John Lackey, but he could help solidify a very young rotation.
As for the top free agent names, Matt Holiday, Jason Bay and John Lackey, don’t expect the Orioles to make a serious play for any of them. If they didn’t sign free agents with Baltimore ties last year I can’t see them shelling out big money for Holiday or Lackey. It’s likely that Holiday, a Scott Boras client, won’t sign until after Christmas. Bay could wait for Holiday to set the market.