We're going to try something new today. With the rumors and news floating about, yesterday we ended up with one story and two fan shots with people commenting on the same topics in all of them, and I got confused. So today we're going to start your morning with Bird Droppings as always, and as the news comes in we'll update this page and put a note in the comments that we have updated. That should keep everything nice and tidy, don't you think?
Update, 3:30 PM: Kelsie Smith, who covers the Minnesota Twins, tweeted that a Hardy to Baltimore trade is unlikely to be completed today, so everyone can relax for a bit. Also, according to several sources, Cliff Lee's agent has left the winter meetings so any chance of him signing before the week is out is now gone.
Update, 2:00 PM: Dan Connolly tweets that the Orioles are in serious negotiations for J.J. Hardy and that two minor league pitchers, including Brett Jacobson (who was sent to the Orioles from the Tigers in the Aubrey Huff trade). I've always preferred Hardy to Bartlett, and if he can be traded here with little of value going to the Twins, I'm for it.
Update, 11:10 AM: Roch Kubatko just posted a blog entry chock full of O's information. The highlights:
- They were never interested in Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves are trying to dump him and approached a ton of teams, and the Orioles listened.
- The O's want to re-sign Cesar Izturis to be a backup middle infielder (acceptable) or their starting shortstop (unacceptable).
- Jason Bartlett trade talks are 100% dead.
- The O's won't trade Brian Matusz or Jake Arrieta, but they will still move Chris Tillman if the right deal comes along.
Update, 10:53 AM: Per Jon Heyman, Paul Konerko and the White Sox have agreed on a three year, $37.5M contract. Konerko had been a target of the Orioles and was even offered a contract, so this is good news as far as I'm concerned. An aging, Type A 1B who is coming off of a career year he won't repeat is not what the Orioles need. So now it appears that if the Orioles do sign a FA 1B, it'll probably be Adam LaRoche or Derrek Lee.
Update, 10:34 AM: Per Steve Melewski, the Orioles have offered Kevin Gregg a 2-year deal worth between 8 and 10 million. Also, it's possible Gregg has a little bit of a 'tude that the O's might not like.
Click through to see the O's news links of the day...
Baltimore Orioles Free Agency Planner | Lookout Landing
The brilliant minds at Lookout Landing have figured out exactly what's happening with the Orioles this off season. I posted this in the comments yesterday but it's a hoot.
Now You Know: Orioles catcher Matt Wieters | orioles.com
A two-minute video where Matt Wieters answers questions like, "Who is the best dressed player on the Orioles?" It's kinda cute, but also makes him seem pretty vanilla.
An interview with Baseball America's Jim Callis | MASNsports.com
Steve Melewski talked to Jim Callis yesterday about the Mark Reynolds trade, the Orioles' farm system (Callis says it's thin), and Joe Mahoney.
Will Tillman & Britton battle for fifth starter's spot? | MASNsports.com
When asked about a competition between Chris Tillman and Zach Britton, Buck says, "I wouldn't throw that out of the realm of possibility." Concrete answer, there. He also says he's impressed with Matt Wieters, and "he makes about 100 to 200 decisions a night behind the plate and he gets four at bats. You do the math."
School of Roch: Quick hits from MacPhail (w/quotes)
Buncha Andy quotes from yesterday.
Answer Man: Luke Scott talks Nugent, hunting and Obama origin | Big League Stew
This article is probably going to make you hate Luke Scott. I'm just saying. So if you don't want to hate Luke Scott, maybe you shouldn't read it. Luke Scott believes that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. This is a lie that has been proven wrong. I don't care about his beliefs on guns or the size of the government or any of that. His belief in a lie that was created in hate is what makes me think less of him, so let's please not make today a giant political argument. And also maybe don't take the things I say like that seriously so much. I don't HATE Luke Scott. Sheesh, people.
Derek Jeter admits he was angry with Yankees | Yahoo! Sports
You know what I have to say to Derek Jeter? "Oh, poor you."
Cubs appear close to deal with Pena | MLB.com
MLB.com has learned that first baseman Carlos Pena and the Cubs have finalized a one-year, $10 million contract, but a team official said it was too early to say the deal was done. That's another 1B off the board. Bring me Adam LaRoche, Andy!
J & D's Bacon Lip Balm from Baron Bob
This is what I'm buying daveh873 for Christmas.