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Report: Orioles interested in Drew Hutchison


Roch Kubatko of reports that the Orioles are still looking to round out their rotation with another three starters before spring training kicks off next week. The latest name to pop up on their radar? Free agent right-hander Drew Hutchison, who elected free agency from the Pirates last October.

Hutchison, 27, spent the entire 2017 season at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he split a 9-9 record in 26 starts and earned a respectable 3.90 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 in 159 1/3 innings. His track record in the majors has been less impressive, however, and he hasn’t set foot on a major league mound since 2016. He was last seen as a full-time starter for the Blue Jays in 2014-15 and amassed a perplexing 24-18 record, 4.97 ERA and 3.7 fWAR over the two seasons.

The Orioles don’t appear to have engaged Hutchison in any serious discussions yet, though Kubatko notes that the team has a tentative deadline of March 1 as GM Dan Duquette would like to see starters arrive to camp as soon as possible. They’re also rumored to have their eye on free agent right-hander Chris Tillman this winter. Tillman, 29, has received interest from the Twins, Tigers and Blue Jays as well, despite coming off of a career-worst season in Baltimore.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.