March 2007 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
Payton May Start Season On DL
Orioles outfielder Jay Payton could start the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, although he's still holding out hope of returning within a week or two. Payton sustained a grade one strain of his lower hamstring while running from second to third Monday in a spring training game against Minnesota. When he arrived at the clubhouse Tuesday, Payton slipped on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and promptly headed toward the training room.
Orioles Acquire Castillo From Red Sox
The Orioles acquired defensive-minded journeyman catcher Alberto Castillo from the Red Sox on Tuesday for minor league outfielder Cory Keylor.
Orioles Claim Tracy From White Sox, Transfer Benson To 60-Day DL
The Orioles claimed right-hander Sean Tracey off waivers from the White Sox on Friday and transferred right-hander Kris Benson to the 60-day disabled list.
Bedard Will Start Orioles' Season Opener
Erik Bedard will start the Orioles' season opener in Minnesota on April 2, a move manager Sam Perlozzo said validates the left-hander's status as the team's top pitcher. "There's always been so much talk about potential, his potential. I think in this particular case, I think he knows his potential is here now," Perlozzo said.
Benson Opts For Season-Ending Surgery
Three weeks into a scheduled four-week rehabilitation program, Orioles pitcher Kris Benson has chosen to have season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn right rotator cuff. Benson met with Orioles vice president Jim Duquette on Tuesday morning and was later given approval to have the surgery after he conferred with team doctors. He left the team to return home to Atlanta and is expected to have the surgery early next week. It will likely be performed by Dr. David Altchek, the New York Mets team medical director. "Kris had tried everything to avoid this day," Gregg Clifton, Benson's agent, said last night. "However, despite his best efforts, the consensus among doctors and training staff is that surgery is the best alternative to allow him to perform at the level that he is accustomed to performing at."
Roberts Finally Signs Two-Year Extension
The Orioles have completed a two-year extension reportedly worth more than $12 million with second baseman Brian Roberts. The contract runs through the infielder's final arbitration year and delays his first shot at free agency by a year. Roberts avoided arbitration in February by signing a one-year deal worth $4.2 million. "Brian epitomizes the kind of player we are building around, and we're extremely pleased to work out this extension to keep him in an Orioles uniform for the foreseeable future," said Mike Flanagan, Orioles executive vice president for baseball operations. "We believe we have a strong nucleus and Brian is part of that core group of players. He brings an excitement to Camden Yards and we are glad he will continue to do that."
Roberts Close To Extension
The Orioles acknowledged Saturday that they are close to a two-year contract extension with Brian Roberts, a deal that would take him through his final arbitration years. The second baseman recently signed a one-year deal for $4.2 million, but his extension is reportedly worth more than $6 million per year. Mike Flanagan, the team's executive vice president of baseball operations, is normally very conservative on discussing deals that haven't reached fruition, but he issued a strong comment confirming the status of the negotiations on Saturday. Flanagan said that the second baseman is almost signed and that a physical examination shouldn't hold things up. "We're just working our way through. ... We're extremely optimistic," he said. "We're working our way through some of the contract language and there's a few other issues, but nothing that seems to be a potential snag at all."
Orioles' Benson Experiences Setback
Kris Benson is experiencing increased soreness in his right shoulder, a development that means the Orioles pitcher may need surgery on his torn rotator cuff. Working on the advice of two doctors, Benson is attempting to rehabilitate the injury at spring training camp. If his bid is unsuccessful, the operation would force the right-hander to miss the 2007 season.
Roberts 'Very Close' To Two-Year Extension With Baltimore
Two baseball sources with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed that Brian Roberts and the Orioles are "very close" on what would be a two-year extension worth between $13 million and $14 million. With Roberts, 29, already locked in for a $4.2 million salary for 2007 after he avoided arbitration last month, the deal - in the works for about six weeks - would essentially mean the Orioles were buying out one of Roberts' free-agent years. At this point, he isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2008 season.