After missing out on A.J. Burnett the Orioles “remain interested” in first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales and “continue to be in contact with his reps,” according to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore has collected some designated hitter options like Nolan Reimold, Delmon Young, and Henry Urrutia, but the Orioles could definitely find room in the lineup for Morales as long as they don’t mind parting with a draft pick to sign him.
Last season the switch-hitter batted .277 with 23 homers and a .785 OPS in 156 games for the Mariners and Morales had similar overall numbers for the Angels in 2012.
The Orioles have signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a Minor League deal with an invitation to spring training, reports Roch Kubatko of MASN. If his performance merits it, Berry could land a job on the Orioles’ bench, adding some much-needed speed. Nate McLouth, who stole 30 bases in 2013 for the O’s, signed with the Nationals. Center fielder Adam Jones was second on the team with 14 steals.
Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette likes Berry for a lot of reasons, saying, “He’s a good outfielder, an outstanding basestealer and he’s shown good on-base capability, particularly against right-handed pitching.”
Berry spent the 2013 season with three different clubs, starting with the Tigers, then the Royals, and ultimately ending up with the Red Sox. Overall, in 381 plate appearances at Triple-A, he posted a paltry .566 OPS but he did steal 30 bases in 34 attempts. He only had nine plate appearances in the Majors with the Red Sox, but he proved useful in the post-season, stealing three bases in as many attempts.
Britt Ghiroli suggests that Berry’s competition includes David Lough, Francisco Peguero, and Henry Urrutia.
The Orioles retained outfielder Nate McLouth on a one-year deal following an unexpected strong finish last season and now they’d like to bring him back for 2014.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are interested in re-signing McLouth and have talked with his representatives since the free-agent signing period began. However, the thought is that they’ll likely have to give him a multi-year deal this time around, especially after David DeJesus and Marlon Byrd each got two year deals in recent days.
McLouth, who turned 32 last month, batted .258/.329/.399 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI this season while going 30-for-37 in stolen base attempts. His production dropped off considerably during the second half and he did very little damage against southpaws, but the door for a return is open in part because prospect Henry Urrutia might not be ready for a full-time gig in left field to begin 2014.