Is it too early to create a Christmas wish list for Andy MacPhail and the Orioles? Probably, but it’s getting close to crunch time as the shopping season (both at malls and for GM’s) is heating up. With two free agents that the Orioles have expressed some interest in, Victor Martinez and Jon Garland, off the board, here’s a list of potential targets and the latest rumors surrounding them.
- Adam Dunn – The Nationals offered Adam Dunn arbitration, but have been outspoken about their interest in free agent first baseman Carlos Pena. Buster Olney thinks that the Rangers could be interested in bringing Dunn to Texas, while the Tigers were “pursuing” Dunn just over a week ago.
- Carlos Pena – As stated above, the Nats are the most enthused about brining Pena to Washington. He was not offered arbitration by the Rays last week. But in general, the rumors surrounding Pena have been quiet this off season.
- J.J. Hardy – We talked about the O’s interest in Hardy a couple weeks ago. The latest is that the Twins will offer Hardy a contract Thursday since he still has trade value. Minnesota did win the bid on Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioki, but they see him mostly as a 2nd baseman. Roch Kubatko still sees Hardy as a viable option for the O’s.
- Paul Konerko – The Rangers have show interest in signing Konerko, but the White Sox offered him arbitration so it will cost a draft pick. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun thinks he could be a good fit in Baltimore though.
- Jason Bartlett – It was rumored that the Rays were interested in David Hernandez for Bartlett since they need bullpen help in 2011. The Orioles have continued to show interest since that report on November 18th along with the Nationals, Giants, Cardinals and Padres. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times stresses that he thinks the Rays will trade Bartlett before Spring Training.
- Adam LaRoche – The Diamondbacks declined their $7.5 million option on LaRoche, but offered him arbitration last week. He was another name thrown out in Peter Schmuck’s column after the Orioles were unable to sign Victor Martinez.
- Mark Reynolds – Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown thinks that the Orioles might be interested in Reynolds, but projects that the O’s would have to send more than David Hernandez to Arizona to make the deal happen.
- Former birds – George Sherrill’s stock is down in LA after he earned $4.5 million last season. Sherrill was not offered arbitration and may end up with a minor league contract in 2011. Erik Bedard is another free agent former Oriole that could be grabbed on the cheap according to Chris Toman of the Sports Network. Of course, there’s also Miguel Tejada who was not offered arbitration by the Padres this season after making $6 million last year. The Cardinals, Giants and Padres are all interested in Miggy according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
- Koji Uehara – The O’s elected not to offer arbitration to Kevin Millwood or Koji Uehara, but they want to bring back Uehara at a lower salary than his $5 million in 2010.
Who do you want to Orioles to shop for this holiday season?