Orioles “intensifying their interest” in Kendrys Morales

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Along with reports this morning that the Orioles are still interested in Ervin Santana even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez, now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re also “intensifying their interest” in free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales.

Now that the Orioles have already lost their first-round draft pick to sign Jimenez the prospect of losing later draft picks for other free agents isn’t as costly. Their next draft pick to lose is 54th overall.

According to Connolly the switch-hitter is now willing to take a two-year deal–perhaps with an opt-out clause after this season–after previously wanting four or five years.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.