It was Andy Warhol who said that, in the future, everyone will interview for the Orioles GM job for 15 minutes. He could paint a little too. Anyway:
The Baltimore Orioles have asked permission to speak to Red Sox vice president of player personnel and pro scouting Allard Baird about their general manager vacancy.
Baird had a pretty disastrous run as the Royals’ GM several years ago but has been in Boston for a long time now and is very well respected in front offices around the game. He’d probably be a good hire for the O’s.
However, as we have chronicled here, here, here, here and here, the Orioles are having a difficult time finding someone who wants to run their team. Probably because whoever takes the GM job realizes that they wouldn’t be running the team. Peter Angelos and his faceless minions scattered around the front office would. And then there’s Buck Showalter down below who probably has his own ideas about personnel and the like.
Where does it go from here? Well, if Baird begs out like several others before him, one has to wonder if Angelos wouldn’t be better off just giving the job to Showalter. Because at this point it looks like people outside of the organization are avoiding Baltimore like it’s radioactive.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.