According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles turned back the clock by holding workouts for left-hander Arthur Rhodes and infielder Fernando Tatis in recent days. And you thought the Orioles’ offseason has been boring.
Rhodes didn’t pitch in the majors last season and had a 4.64 ERA and 21/11 K/BB ratio over 33 innings between the Rangers and Cardinals in 2011. The 43-year-old was originally drafted by the Orioles in the second round in 1988 and spent his first nine major league seasons with the club. He still lives in Baltimore.
It’s been even longer since Tatis’ last stint in the majors, as the 38-year-old appeared in 41 games with the Mets in 2010 prior to undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. Best known as the only player to hit two grand slams in one inning, Tatis had a brief stint with the Orioles back in 2006.
It wouldn’t cost more than a minor league deal to bring either player aboard, so it’s worth a shot. Who knows, maybe Tatis will be the 2013 version of Lew Ford.
Adam Greenberg, who was called up for a one-game return to the majors by the Marlins in September after his official MLB debut saw him get hit in the head by a pitch in 2005, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Orioles.
Greenberg has spent most of the past five years playing independent ball in the Atlantic League, where he hit .255 with a .737 OPS in 354 total games, so while he’s a nice story the odds of the 32-year-old returning to the majors based on merit seem pretty slim.
Of course, not so long ago the Orioles signing 36-year-old Lew Ford to a minor-league contract seemed sort of silly and he ended up returning to the majors as a regular for a playoff team.
I couldn’t possibly call it quits for the week without passing along news that the Orioles have re-signed Lew Ford to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Baltimore dropped Ford from the 40-man roster last week and none of the other 29 teams claimed him off waivers, but he’ll try to make it back to the majors as a non-roster player.
Ford’s comeback was a helluva story, as he went five years between big-league stints, but he ended up hitting just .183 in 25 games for the Orioles at age 35. With that said: LEWWWWWW!
Matt Eddy of Baseball America put together a comprehensive list of 549 players who became minor league free agents and, as you might expect, there are a whole bunch of interesting, blast-from-the-past names.
I recommend reading through the entire list, which is separated by team and good for all sorts of amusement, but here some of my favorites:
If you had the players listed above and took a time machine back to like 2005 … well, you wouldn’t actually have a good team, but you could definitely trade them for the players needed to have a great team.
Lew Ford getting back to the majors this season for the first since 2007 and at age 35 was an amazing story, but he ended up hitting just .183 in 25 games for the Orioles.
And now his offseason has started with surgery to repair a sports hernia, the result of an injury that caused him to miss some time in September and was initially described as a bone bruise near his hip.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Ford is expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training, but as a 35-year-old who hit .183 and is due for a raise via the arbitration process he’s no sure thing to be on the Orioles’ roster by then.