Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’

1/27 Villanueva signs and rumors

In case you missed it, Carlos Villanueva finally signed with the Cubs. The team made an official announcement late Saturday. The right-handed pitcher agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal that will pay him $5 million each year. He could contend for a spot in the rotation.

Right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo, who was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011, was designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva on the 40-man roster. If he isn’t claimed, Castillo could rejoin the Cubs.

The team has yet to finalize its agreement with outfielder Scott Hairston. That also will require the front office to create an opening on the 40-man.

* There were reports Sunday that the Orioles and Rangers were interested in adding a right-handed bat, and that they have inquired about Alfonso Soriano. The Boston Globe reported the interest by the two teams in the veteran, who turned 37 earlier this month, and who would be a good fit for an American League team, which could use him as a designated hitter. Soriano does have a full no trade clause, so he would have to approve a move. He has two years remaining on his contract.

– Carrie Muskat

7/24 Trade rumors

Ryan Dempster will likely make a decision today regarding whether he’ll accept a deal to the Braves. The Cubs and Braves were believed to be finalizing a deal, which requires Dempster’s approval because of his status as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). The Braves were reportedly offering right-handed pitcher Randall Delgado.

Dempster isn’t the only Cubs player drawing attention leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. The Dodgers, who still could be pursuing Dempster, also are inquiring about Matt Garza. One report said the Dodgers would deal top pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs for Garza, but a baseball source told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that was premature. Lee was reportedly the player the Cubs asked for in the Dempster talks, but the Dodgers didn’t want to move him for a two-month rental player. Garza, on the other hand, would be under club control through arbitration for one more season.

However, the Dodgers also need a run-producing corner infielder at least as badly as a starting pitcher. Lee apparently still has significant trade value, even though he has struggled to a 9.45 ERA since being promoted to Double-A last month.

And it’s not just the Cubs pitching that’s drawing interest. The Orioles are reportedly asking about first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair.

Dempster’s departure would not just impact the Cubs rotation, but the players. Jeff Samardzija gives the veteran credit for helping him get on track this year.

“He’s easy to watch how he attacks hitters and it relates to me very well,” Samardzija said. “The list goes on — I could sit here all day and tell you what Demp’s done for me. It’s good to have that veteran mind and those veteran eyes around me at any point in the game — ‘Hey, I’m seeing this, and I’m seeing that.’ He’s been that guy for a long time.”

– Carrie Muskat

1/6 AL teams talk to Cubs about Soriano

The Cubs traded Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins on Thursday. Could Alfonso Soriano be next to go? According to reports, the Orioles were one of a few American League teams who talked to the Cubs about a possible deal involving Soriano. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday the Cubs could not find a match for the outfielder after talking to a few teams. Soriano, who turns 36 on Saturday, is owed $54 million over the final three years of his contract.

On Thursday, Theo Epstein was asked about Soriano, and said the outfielder is still a valuable offensive player and that it’s up to the Cubs to get the best out of him.

– Carrie Muskat

11/16 Moore back with Cubs

Infielder Scott Moore has reportedly rejoined the Cubs. According to the Baltimore Sun, Moore has signed a Minor League deal. He made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 2006 before he was traded to the Orioles in the Steve Trachsel deal. Moore, who turns 27 on Wednesday, batted .280 with 11 homers and 45 RBIs in 61 games for Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles added a Cubs player as well, signing pitcher Mitch Atkins to a Minor League deal.

– Carrie Muskat

5/6 Hall of Fame memories

Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts died on Thursday at the age of 83. Lou Piniella was his teammate briefly in 1964 on the Baltimore Orioles, which was Piniella’s only season with the O’s. Piniella had one at-bat that year when he made his Major League debut Sept. 4, 1964, in the fourth inning. He pinch-hit for Roberts, who started that game.

“I grounded out to shortstop, and when I got back to the dugout, he said, ‘[Heck], I could’ve done that,'” Piniella said, laughing.

Actually, Piniella grounded out to the second baseman, according to the boxscore but you get the picture. Roberts lost the game, 7-1, to the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium.

“I get back to the dugout, and he said, ‘[Darn], Rook, I could’ve done that. What the [heck] did they send you up to hit for me?'” Piniella said.

Piniella would see Roberts during the offseason because he lived near him in the Tampa, Fla., area.

“I followed his career because I was a fan of the ‘Whiz Kids’ back with Richie Ashburn and Curt Simmons and that whole group and Robin was a mainstay of that pitching staff,” Piniella said. “They used to train right in Clearwater, 18, 20 miles from home, so I used to go see them play.”

– Carrie Muskat

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