October 2007 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
Rays Claim LHP Birkins From Orioles
The Rays claimed left-handed pitcher Kurt Birkins off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. To clear room on the roster, the club designated catcher Raul Casanova for assignment. Birkins, 27, split last season between the Orioles and Norfolk (AAA). He appeared in 19 games (two starts) for the Orioles over five separate stints, posting a 1-2 record with an 8.13 ERA. He went 8-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) for Norfolk. He made his first major league start at Tropicana Field on September 3rd (no decision in 4.0 innings). A 33rd round selection by the Orioles in the 2000 Draft, Birkins made his major league debut in 2006, pitching in 35 games for the O?s, compiling a 5-2 record and a 4.94 ERA while holding opponents to a .221 batting average. He owns 57 strikeouts in 65.1 career major league innings. Casanova, 35, also split the year between the majors and Triple A. He hit .253 for the Rays with six home runs and 11 RBI in 29 games.
Bedard Could Be Dealt For Everyday Players
Erik Bedard is one name that Baltimore insiders suggest could be dealt. The feeling is the Orioles have enough starting pitching and need everyday players. Bedard could bring two or three major league-ready players.
Orioles Looking To Deal Tejada
With CEO/president Andy MacPhail taking over the Orioles' operation, you may see a couple of things develop, starting at the GM meetings in Orlando in early November. First, MacPhail will likely look for takers for Miguel Tejada. The Orioles might have waited a year too long to deal him, but they'll make the attempt and hope to find a team that thinks he can play third base.
Orioles Name Kranitz Pitching Coach
The Orioles on Wednesday hired Rick Kranitz as the team's new pitching coach. Kranitz spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach for the Marlins after 22 years within the Cubs organization. He declined an offer to remain as the Marlins' pitching coach for 2008 in order to pursue other opportunities.
Baltimore Claims Novoa From Cubs
The Orioles on Tuesday claimed righthander Roberto Novoa off waivers from the Cubs. Novoa, 28, missed the entire 2007 season after suffering a right humeral head fracture during spring training.
Orioles Fire Mazzone
Leo Mazzone was fired as pitching coach of the Orioles on Friday, less than two weeks after completing his second season with a struggling staff. Mazzone worked wonders with the Braves from June 1990 through the end of the 2005 season but could not duplicate that success with the Orioles. Baltimore ranked 29th among 30 teams with a 5.17 ERA and yielded more walks (696) than any major league club.
Duquette Resigns After Two Years With Orioles
Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette resigned Friday after two seasons with the struggling franchise. Baltimore ended its 10th consecutive losing season Sunday with a 69-93 record and a fourth-place finish in the AL East, 27 games behind first-place Boston. "I felt it was in the organization's best interest, as well as my own, to start fresh somewhere else," Duquette said in a statement. "I'm grateful for the opportunities the Orioles have provided," he said. "I think it's important for me, personally and professionally, to continue to develop and to look at opportunities elsewhere."
Orioles Talking About Run At Andruw Jones?
Andruw Jones' name is sure to come up during the Orioles' organizational meetings that begin Monday in Sarasota, Fla. Manager Dave Trembley seems in favor of keeping Corey Patterson if the two sides can work out a deal. He likes Patterson's defense and speed. But Jones will get some consideration - and then the Orioles likely will be outbid for him.