The Orioles have a three-year $21 million offer on the table to Adam LaRoche. For reasons that remain unclear, he has not jumped at it yet. Realizing that maybe going three-years on LaRoche isn’t the best idea, they have reportedly contacted Derrek Lee, who may be amenable to a one-year deal. Makes sense.
Know what else makes sense? Buster Olney’s fun idea:
The Orioles have also been talking with Derrek Lee, for a deal somewhere in the range of $8 million. If that feels too pricey, here’s an imperfect and much cheaper alternative — but a combination that could result in good production. The Orioles could consider a platoon of sluggers at first base: Troy Glaus from the right side, and Russell Branyan or Jason Giambi from the left side.
Such a thing could be a potential nightmare for roster management because you’d still need to have someone who can cover first base defensively. And because none of those guys could just slot into the DH position with Luke Scott hanging around. And because, you know, they’re all old and potentially fragile.
But the general idea — don’t get locked into Adam LaRoche and try to be creative — is a worthy one. How about Vlad Guerrero at DH and Scott at first base like Roch Kubatko suggested yesterday? There have to be better options than offering LaRoche three years. And having to wait around for him to accept it.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.